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THE YEARS 1334, 1835, & 1836. 





" Le voyager me semble un exercise profitable : I'ame y a une continuelle 
exercitation, a remarquer les choses incognites et nouvelles ; et je r\e sqache 
pas meilleure escole a faqonner la \ie que de luy proposei inccssamment la 
diversite de tant d'autres fantasies et usances, et luy faire gouter une si 
perpetuelle variete de forme ds nostre nature." — Essais de y^ontaigne, liv. 3, 
chap. ix. 

VOL. I. 

NEW YORit : 



/ J 

M 7\, 1 





It is with mingled feelings of anxiety and gratitude 
that I avail nfiyself of Your Majesty's gracious pern:iissiori 
to inscribe to you the following Narrative. It pretends 
to no other merit than that of truth ; and its most ambi- 
tious object will be obtained, if it be found to afford 
any useful or interesting information, and thus to beguile 
a leisure hour stolen from Your Majesty's more grave 
and weighty occupations. 

It has been customary to clothe a dedication in the 
language of panegyric : I will not presume to follow the 
tempting precedent. Your Majesty's qualities will be 
attested by an Empire, and be recorded by History. 
Nevertheless, I trust I may venture, unblamed, to ex- 
press, on this occasion, my earnest desire, and my heart- 
felt prayer, that your reign may be long and happy, and 
that Britain may hereafter look back with regret and 
with pride on a Sovereign, who blended the wisdom and 
energy of Queen Elizabeth with the more winning and 
attractive attributes of her sex. 

I am Madam, 
With the deepest attachment and respect, 
Your Majesty's dutiful Subject and Servant, 

Charles Augustus Murray. 

Euchingham Palace, 
June, 1839. 



It is very seldom that the journal of a traveller appears 
before the public unaccompanied by a prefatory declara- 
tion that it was not his original intention to publish, and 
that he has been reluctantly induced by the importunities 
of his friends to inform the world of the extent and par- 
ticulars of his travel. A statement of this kind usually 
meets with as much credit as the laboured impromptu 
of a wit, or the professions of diffidence made by a 
practised speaker : as it is a matter in which the public 
are so little interested, I am surprised that authors should 
take so much pains in attempting to explain it. Most 
travellers keep a record of the scenes through which 
they pass, without having, at the time, any definite in- 
tentions as to publication, leaving their after-decision to 
be determined by circumstances ; this is generally the 
case with persons who travel without any scientific 
object, and is, probably, applicable to the following 

Some readers may be disposed to inquire why I have 
allowed two or three years to elapse between the writing 
and the publishing of this journal. I can offer no other 
satisfaction to their curiosity than by informing them, 
that the delay has been occasioned by circumstances of 
a private and domestic nature. The careless arrange- 
ment of materials, in these pages, will furnish, I am 

afraid, more than abundant evidence of the fact, that the 




manuscript has been untouched during the interval, and 
that the original copy has been placed in the hands of 
my publisher, with such few verbal corrections and 
additions as my present occupations have permitted me 
to make. 

As the state of the Canadas has excited, of late, so 
much attention, I feel it my duty (in order to prevent 
the disappointment of those who might expect some in- 
formation regarding them in these volumes) to state that 
my tour did not extend through those extensive and 
interesting provinces. 





Embark at Liverpool. — Cabin and Steerage Passengers. — Whimsical 
Distress of a Military Captain. — A heavy Sea. — Portuguese Man-of- 
V7ar.— A False Alarm. — May Morning at Sea. — A Leak sprung : our 
perilous Situation. — Reflections under Danger. — Agony of mind in 
one of the Passengers. — Men at the Pumps. — Increase of Danger. — 
The Cargo hove overboard. — Merciful Dispensation of the Creator. — 
Make for the Azores. — Dreadful Night and gloomy Morning. — Pre- 
paration for the worst. — The Author's providential Escape. — Offices 
of Devotion. — Resignation of the female Passengers. A Sail in 
Sight. — Departure of some of the Passengers in the Lady Raffles, 
bound for London. — Threatened Mutiny. — Resolute Conduct of a 
young Passenger. — Arrival offFayal. .... Page 13 


Approach to Fayal. — Peak of Pico. — Reception by the British Consul. 
— The Town : its declining State. — Politeness of the People. — Sin- 
gular Custom. — Inauguration of the Emperor and Empress of Fayal. 
— The Fayal Authorities. — Agriculture. — Donkeys. — Volcanic For* 
mation of the Island. — Market Days. — Cruelty to an x\nimal. — De- 
lightful Climate. — Rock Pigeons.— A quaint old Hunter. — Perildfe 
Ascent. — A good Shot. — The American Consul and his Daughters. — 
Beautiful Orange Garden. — Exquisite Scenery. — Evening Parties. — 
Absurd Custom. — Successful Attempt to reform it. . .. .. 26 


A Marine Excursion. — Novel Mode of Landing. — Dinner with Captain 
L. — A Portuguese Ecclesiastic. — Latin Conversation with him. — 
Pico Wine. — Excursion resumed. — Disagreeable Quarters. — A 
Storm. — Providential Escape — Velas. — Volcanic Craters. — A buried 
Church. — Unlucky Search for Game. — Female Costume. — Fuel. — 
Return to Fayal. — The Waverly again ready for Sea. — Serious Af- 
fray — Its Consequences.— A Street Squabble. — Cowardly Threats. 
— Leave Fayal . . 36 



A dead Calm. — Scant Allowance of Provision during the Voyage. — A 
Whale shot. — Anchor off Sandy Hook. — The Quarantine Station. — 
View in the Narrows. — Variety of Shipping. — Quarantine Hospitals. 
— New York. — Iced Punch. — LaKd at New York. — An American 
Tabic d' hole.- Oppressive Heat. — Episcopalian Church. — Costume 
of American Ladies. — Visit to Rockaway. — American Omnibus. — 
Desolate Marsh. — Reception by Sir C. Vaughan. — Rockaway. — Mint 
Julep. — The celebrated Compounder of this Nectar. . Page 50 


Expedition up the Hudson River. — Scene of the Death of Hamilton. — 
Cooper, the American Novelist. — Scenery of West Point. — Nursery 
for the American Army. — The Cadets. — Albany. — The Patroon. — 
Railroad to Saratoga. — Watering Places.— Mineral Water. — Ballston. 
— The Trenton Falls. — An Extra Exclusive. — The Prison at Auburn. 
—Miserable Appearance of the Prisoners. — Geneva. — Canandaigua. 
— Eminent Scottish Agriculturist. — Genesee. — Mr. W. — Fertile 
Meadows. — Fails of Niagara 58 


Embark on Lake Ontario. — Toronto. — Reception by the Governor. — 
Lake of The Thousand Islands. — The Cholera at Montreal and Que- 
bec. — Journey towards Lake Champlain. — Gloomy Road. — Burling- 
ton. — Students in the College of that Town. — An Obliging Land- 
lord. — Road to Montpelier. — The Camel's Hump. — American Libe- 
rality.— Accommodations at the Taverns. — John Bull a bad Traveller. 
— Hanover. — Concord. — A Criminal Trial in this Town. — Amoskeag. 
— Exchange of Steeds. — Lowell : its Lucrative Trade. — Approach 
to Boston.— Arrival in that Town.— The Tremont House.— Mr. 
Webster. — Tone of Conversation in Boston 70 


Return to New York.— Heavy Fog.— Exploring Party.— Society in 
New York.— Departure for Philadelphia.- Exhibition of Wild Beasts 
in Bordentown. — Arrival in Philadelphia.— A lineal Descendant of 
William Wallace.— Arrival at Washington.— Legation.— 
Tour to the West of Virginia. — Wretched Roads. — A Disaster. — A 
Negro Samaritan. — Friendly Landlord. — Arrival at Leesburgh. — 
Search for Game.— Capture of a large Gobbler. — Fruit called Per- 
simmon. — Remarkable Duel. — Romney.— Excursion in pursuit of 
Deer — American Agriculturist and Hunter.— Invidious Comparison. 
—Hospitable Laird.— Republican Doctrine of Equality.: ludicrous 
Anomalies arising from this. — Survey of various Tracts of Land. — 
Progress of Agriculture.— Excursion to the Glades of Alleghany: 
Scenery : the Inhabitants.— Private Entertainment.— Mr. Chisholm. 
—Recollections of Scotland.— Scotch Settlers.— Field Sports in the 
Alleghanies. . 81 



Return to Washington.— The Capital.— The Senate.— The Ladies* 
Gallery. — Debate on the relations with France. — Mr. Clay. — Mr. 
Webster. — Public Demonstration on the Death of a Citizen. — x'N.t- 
tempt upon the Life of the President : his miraculous Escape. — Mr. 
Calhoun. — Mcunt Vernon. — Observations on Washington's Tomb, 
— Singular Occurrence illustrative of the State of Society in Lou- 
isiana. — Melancholy Appearance of the City of Washington : its 
Site. — Method of assessing its Inhabitants. — Absence of local attach- 
ment in American Agriculturists contrasted with the Scottish Love 
of Country Page 98 


Quit Washington for a Tour in Virginia.— Voyage down the Potomac 
in the Champion Steamer. — Land Journey to Fredericksburgh. — 
Wretched Road. — Arrival at Fredericksburgh. — The Town. — House 
of Judge Coalter : hospitable reception by that Gentleman. — Writers 
in the Public Press. — Journey from Fredericksburgh to Richmond. — 
Perpetual Danger of being upset. — Arrival at Richmond. — The 
Town: its Society. — Judge Marshall : his House. — Ladies of Rich- 
mond. — Embark on the James River. — Intermarriages of the Resi- 
dents on its Shores. — Plantations cultivated by Slaves. — Treatment 
of the Slaves. — Necessity for corporal Punishment. — Expense of 
keepmg Slaves. — The Negro Character. — Domestic and farm-labour- 
ing Slaves. — Overseers. — Marriage of Slaves : their Religion. — 
Agriculture on the Banks of James River. — Law of Primogeniture. 
— Embark in the Patrick Henry Steamer. — Region visited by Sir 
Walter Raleigh. — Cruelty of early Settlers.— Jamestown,— Indif- 
ference of the American People to sepulchral Relics. — Ruins of the 
former Governor's Palace. — College endowed by William and Mary. 
—New Fortification at Old Point.— Arrival at Norfolk.— Bay of the 
Chesapeake. — Return to Washington 113 


Morning Ride. — Delightful Season. — Shrubs and Flowers. — The Mock- 
ing-bird. — Visit to a Flower Garden. — Preparations for a Tour in 
the West. — Parting from Friends. — Leave Washington for Balti- 
more. — Fearful Ravages of the Cholera. — Incident in the Museum at 
Baltimore. — Arrival at Philadelphia. — Start for Pittsburgh.— Lovely 
Prospect. — Lancaster Vale. — German Settlers. — The Susquehannah. 
— The Juniata. — Track Boats. — A Newspaper Reporter. — Inquisi- 
tive Western Traveller. — Walk to Holydaysburgh.— Nocturnal An- 
noyance. — Passage across the Alleghanies. — Arrival at Johnstown. — 
The River Conimah— Railroad.— The Alleghany River.— Pitts- 
burgh.— The Market.— Mr. Rapp's Settlement. . .130 



Embark on the Ohio.— Banks of the River. — Wheeling. — Remark- 
able Indian Mound. — Risings of the River. — Arrival at Cincin- 
nati. — The Town. — The Museum. — Manufacture. — Mrs. Trollope's 
Bazaar — her erroneous Statements. — Prosperity of Cincinnati. — 
Hospitality of its Inhabitants. — American Servants. — The Cholera. 
— Contrast between the States of Ohio and Kentucky. — Character 
of the Kentuckians. — Brutal Method of Fighting. . Page 144 


Leave Cincinnati for Louisville. — Reminiscences. — Louisville. — Re- 
publican Incongruity. — Swearing in the Western States. — Start for 
Lexington. — Beautiful Scenery. — Curious Sermon. — Arrival at Lex- 
ington. — Meeting with Miss Martineau. — General Shelby's Farm. 
— Situation of Lexington. — Its public Institutions. — System of 
Education in America. — Lunatic Asylum. — Evening Parties. — Mu- 
sical Soiree. — A Serenade. — Mr. Clay. — Return to Louisville. — 
Embark for Saint Louis. — Passage down the Ohio. — Robbers' Cave. 
—The "Father of Waters." 155 


Situation of St. Louis.— The Catholic new Church.— General Clarke.— 
Emba.k for Fort Leavenworth. — Requisites for a Tour on the Prai- 
rie. — The Missouri — Rapidity of its Stream. — Islands. — Fatal Case 
of Cholera. — Changeful Climate. — Floating Obstructions. — Settle- 
ments on the Missouri. — Scarcity of Game. — Gigantic Trees. — Fer- 
tility of the Soil. — Precarious Navigation.— Magnificent Thunder- 
storm. — State of Health on board the Steam-boat. — Tedious Progress. 
Mouth of Osage River. — Indian Painting. — Town of Booneville, — 
Price of Provisions. — Narrow Escape. — Village of Liberty. — Outfit 
for the Prairie. — A small Prairie.— Swampy Wood.— Reception at 
Fort Leavenworth — Prospect from the Heights in its Neighbourhood. 
—-Indian Tribes — Commemoration of the 4th of July. — Pawnee 
Visiters. — Indian Chorus. — Picturesque Scene. — Arrangements to 
accompany the Pawnees to their Nation 167 


Pawnee chiefs with whom I started. — Leave Fort Leavenworth. — Roll- 
ing Prairie.^— Halting Place. — Loss of Horses. — Flock of Perroquets. 
— Our stray Horses. — Indian Appetite. — Accidents by the Way. — 
Overtake the Pawnee Deputation. — Esculent Roots. — Deer-stalking 
in the Prairie. — A Misfortune. — Cross the Great Nimahaw River. — 
Parly in Search of Elk.— Rejoin the Camp. — Tired Horse. — False 
Alarm of Chill and Fever. — The Kanzas River.— My Dog killed and 
eaten. — Fatiguing Travelling. — Friendly Reception. — Etlect of whis- 
key on the Indians. — Indian Village. — Occupations of the Men, Wo- 
men, and Childi'en.— The old Chief —Buifalo Meat.— Order of 
March.— Pawnee Summer Lodge. — Medicine. — First Night in the 
pawnee Lodge. — Dogs. 183 



Lavatory in the Prairie.— Picturesque Scene.— A " Brave."-Quarrel 

"^ plrvT: f '^' lT''-7:.^'''''' !>«§« -Owls and Rattlesnakes 
-First View of Buffalo.-Chase of Buffalo.-Indian Butchery -_ 
Horses stolen by the Ricaras.— Indian Method of Horse-stealincr - 
Discussion as to the expediency of making Reprisals.-Present'of a 
Butlalo Robe.— Indian Character.— A Feast.— Indian Curiosity. 203 


Indian Women.-Children.-Nursery Discipllne.-Girls.-Courtship 
— Marriage^-A Missionary.-Occupation and Labours of married 
Women^-Degradation of the half-civilized Tribes.-Education and 
Life of Indian Men.-An Indian Dandy.-His elaborate Toilet _ 
His Effeminacy.— Game of the Javelin.— Indian Courage. . 215 


Ceremonies attendant on the Buffalo Chase.-Adventures with Buffalo 
-]N umber of Beasts slain— Night Attack of the Shiennes.-The Con'. 
flict -War Songs.-A Council.-Religion.-Great Spirits and other 
Heities.-Rehgious Ceremonies.-Notions of Futurity.-Months and 
Years.-Office of Soldiers.-A " Cerne," or " Surround."-Buffalo 
Hunt— Preparation of Buffalo Skins.-Strange Fuel—March re- 
sumed— Otoe Chief— Deadly Feud between two Brothers —Great 
Medicine Feast -Impromptu Oration.-Indian Eloquence.-Grace 
before Meat— Rapid Feeding.-Method of Invitation to a Feasr - 
l^ontrasted Temperature— Change in the Aspect of the Country. 227 


A Stampedo.-Number of Horses in the Encampment.-Moccasins - 
Prickly Pears : Feet wounded by them -Indian Surgery— Improvi- 
dent Inactivity— Desire to return to the Civilized World-'indian 

Ni^htflll '"/"^''"^v^^'^^'^T-^^"^^ °^ Practice— Stroll after 
f^f M r^1.^"°'^ Escape.-Scarcity of Water— Haitans— Buf- 
falo Hun .-Dmner on raw Buffalo Meat— Long Shot at an Ante- 
lope.-Advantage of the Bow over the Rifle in Buffalo Hunting -1 
Value of the Buffalo to the Western Tribes.-An Accident.-Extra- 
-He7of fi'uffaTo ''^ Nesting.-My Library-Thoughts of Home. 


Camp moved.-Medicine Council— Preparation for Hunting.-Martial 
Appearance of the Chief: his Costume.-The Author'! Hunt n'-" 
v'~?;r^'f ^'°? ""''^ *^^ Chief-Equipment of the Warrior's 
-Forced March.-Attack the Herds.-Dangerous Conflict.-Sorry 
Steed.-Lnhorsed Indian.-A young Bull sbot.-A Hunter's Meal. 
-Suspicious Intruders.-Perplexing Situation.-A Friend in Need. 
— Return to the Camp 262 



Medicine Ceremonies.— Instance of ungovernable Temper and Cruelty 
in a young Indian. — Indian Horse-dealers. — Bargaining Anecdotes. 
—Hiring a Guide— Knavery of the Great Chief— Hunting Party of 
Delawares and Sbawnees. — Conversation with them. — DisUke of the 
Pawnees to their new Guests. — Pride of the Delawares. — Unequal 
Conflict. — Skilful Retreat. — Delaware and Shawnee Languages. — 
Departure of the Visiters Page 277 


Interview with the Great Chief — Telescope regained. — Stock of Pro- 
visions for the Journey. — Indian Knavery. — Disinterested Genero- 
sity. — E.xchange of Horses. — Message from the Great Chief — A 
" Talk." — Invitation to the Great Chief — Presents made to him. — 
Want of Cleanliness among the Pawnees. — Splendid Daybreak. — 
Valedictory Speeches. — A vicious Horse. — Journey homeward com- 
menced.— Herd of Buffalo. — Successful Shot. — Evening Camp. — 
Musquitoes. — Serious Accident. — Defection of our Guide. — Return 
to the Pawnees. — Repulsive Scene. — Indian Mourning. — Reception 
at the Lodge of Sa-ni-tsa-rish 288 


Commission intrusted to the Canadian Interpreter. — Arrangement with 
two Indian Guides. — Pae-tae-lae-cha'r6 — Indications of his Malignity. 
— Leave the Pawnees. — Harangue of the Guide. — Dinner. — March 
resumed. — Fearful Storm. — Indian Superstition. — Morning after the 
Storm. — Ramble in Search of Game. — Antelope. — A narrow Escape. 
— An Indian Hunter. — Conversation with him. — Lose my Party. — 
Visit to an Indian Camp. — My Reception there. . . . 303 


Unpleasant Predicament. — Set forth in search of my Party. — Night 
Wanderings. — Rejoin my Friends. — Journey resumed. — Evening 
Camp. — Prairie Wolves. — Scotch Servant. — The. American Lad. — 
Conversation with the Guide. — Enormous Rattlesnake. — Indian 
Manoeuvre. — Danger from Snakes.— An Antelope Shot. — A Bath. — 
Our Feast. — Meeting with Pawnee Hunters. — Their Conference 
with our Guides. — Consultation with my Companions. — Desertion 
of the Guides. — Difficulties of our Situation. — Commencement of 
my Office as Guide 315 





Embark at Liverpool. — Cabin and Steerage Passengers. — Whimsical Dis- 
tress of a Military Captain.— A heavy Sea.— Portuguese Man-of-war.— 
A False Alarm.— May Morning at Sea.— A Leak sprung : our perilous 
Situation. — Reflections under Danger.— Agony of mind in one of the 
Passengers — Men at the Pumps.— Increase of Danger.— The Cargo 
have overboard. — Merciful Dispensation of the Creator. — Make for the 
Azores.— Dreadful Night and gloomy Morning.— Preparation for the 
worst. — The Author's providential Escape.— Offices of Devotion. — 
Resignation of the female Passengers.— A Sail in Sight.— Departure 
of some of the Passengers in the Lady Raffles, bound for London. — 
Threatened Mutiny.— Resolute Conduct of a young Passenger. — 
Arrival off Fayal. 

On the 18th of April 1834, 1 embarked at Liverpool, 
on board the American ship Waverly, bound for New- 
York. Although not one of those regular packets 
which have attained so just a celebrity for their beauty^ 
comfort, and saihng quahties, she was a fine new vessel 
of 530 tons ; and as I was accompanied by an admiral 
in the British Navy when I secured my berth, I con- 
sidered myself thereby justified in my selection. 

We sailed at 5 a. m. with a steady light breeze from 
the E. S. E. The cabin passengers consisted of three 
ladies with nurses, maids, &c., three or four young 
gentlemen, who were going to settle in Canada, an 
architect, a captain in the army, a German wine-mer- 
chant and his son, and a dissenting minister. About a 
hundred and fifty emigrants of the poorest class, mostly- 
Irish, were in the steerage, and I never saw a more 
ragged squalid assemblage than that which now thron- 
ged the deck of the Waverly. Poor fellows ! few of 


them seemed to have friends or kindred on the shore 
that we were leaving, and they sat huddled together 
round the long boat and the hen-coops, while some of 
the sailors and passengers were waving hands and 
handkerchiefs amid cheers for our safe voyage, and the 
thousand farewell devices invented by the ingenuity of 

The breeze freshened from the eastward, and bore us 
merrily down the Channel : the ship bounded forward 
under a press of canvass ; while the light spray dashed 
from her bows, and the line of foam in her wake, joined 
to a motion too perceptible to be unfelt by landsmen, 
soon told us that we were on the open sea. On the 
morning of the 19th, I heard a voice in the next cabin 
to mine, singing with a faint attempt at cheerfulness ; 
opening my door to catch the air and words, I discov- 
ered that the vocalist was the military captain, who was 
endeavoring to cheat himself into good spirits by sing- 
ing " I'm rather sick," " I feel very queer," to the tunes 
of " Home, sweet home," " I'd be a Butterfly," and other 
prevalent airs. 

For a week, the wind continued favorable, and we 
made an average way of eight or nine knots an hoar ; 
on the 26th it freshened so much that our top-gallant- 
sails were taken in and the topsails reefed. A heavy 
sea -'got up," and most of the passengers (myself inclu- 
ded) were afliicted with that oppressive nausea which 
the worthy captain described in the above pathetic 
strains : the ship rolled heavily, and six water-casks, 
which had been faultily secured in the steerage, broke 
loose, were instantly staved in, and drenched the unfor- 
tunate steerage passengers, causing no little alarm and 
confusion among them. 

On this day I saw for the first time that beautiful little 
wanderer of the ocean called by the sailors " the Portu- 
guese man-of-war :" he spread? ' 's light sail in all 
weathers, and delights to float lu^.iy in a calm ; but it is 
when an angry restless sea is lit up by a fitful sunshine, 
that he is seen ta most advantage. He dances so buoy- 
antly on the crest of the waves ; and the transparent 
filmy wings with which he sails along, give back so 


many varied colours to the sun, that few of the tiny in- 
habitants of air or earth are so pretty to look upon.* 

On the 27th and two following days it blew very 
hard, and the wind having shifted to the N. W. we were 
obliged to lie-to for many hours. An accident occurred 
which was productive of temporary alarm. I was 
walking on the quarter-deckt with the captain about 
mid-day, when a cry arose that the " ship was on fire !" 
The ladies' cabin was filled with smoke accompanied 
with a stronor smell of burning- wood ; one of its fair 
tenants fainted away, another screamed, and all jumped 
from their berths and sofas in confusion and affright. — 
Captain Phillips was preparing for a descent into the 
lower deck to examine, and make the requisite exer- 
tions, when he suddenly recollected the employment of 
some sailors astern ; and, hastening thither, we found 
a tar busily employed in burning a hole in the ear of a 
bucket with a red-hot marlingspike, the smoke and 
smell of which operation passed directly through the 
stern-windows into the ladies' cabin, and occasioned the 
alarm above mentioned. It was of short duration, but 
the first impression caused by the cry of fire, when 
there is a heavy sea running, and no land within a 
thousand miles, is not by any means agreeable, and I 
confess that I breathed more freely when the doubt 
was resolved by the old sailor and his hot iron. We 
might feel disposed to quarrel with that rapidity of 
thought which thus induces man to invest smoke with 
the terrors of fire, were it not for the compensating 
power of mind which also enables him to catch glim- 
merings of hope where reason and experience would 

* The Portuguese man-of-war is of the " Medusa" species, and 
its propername in natural history is " Physalia." When taken out 
of the water it is very small, and covered with poisonous prickles, 
producing on the skiii (if carelessly handled) an irritation similar to 
that caused by a nettle. ^ 

t I deprecate the criticism of nautical readers, and beg to inform 
ihem, that I use synonymously " quarter-deck"and "poop," in the 
belief that (although these may be technical errors) my meaning 
v/ill be intelligible. 


The morning of the 1st of May was bright and cheer- 
ful, the clouds were broken into light fleecy masses, 
which now obscured, now revealed the rays of the sun, 
with that changeful alternation which gives to the 
"soote season" its well-deserved character for life, and 
youth, and mirth, on which every poet, of ancient and 
of modern times, has exhausted the richest treasures 
of his fancy : but for us, in the "Waverly, there were 
no opening blossoms, "no carolling larks, no new-born 
flocks in rustic dance," to usher in the " flowery May ;" 
and as I looked over the ship's side on the deep green 
waste of waters, busy thought carried me back to the 
smiling valleys of my father-land, and even Jack in the 
Green and Maid Marian, with the swarthy imps dan- 
cing round them in the streets of London, were, for a 
time, remembered with regret. The evening closed 
in without any indication of storm or danger. 

About 7 o'clock p. m. 1 was whiling away my time 

at a game of drafts with, a passenger, when Mr. 

(who being the only person in our party who had made 
the voyage to New York, was a kind of self-appointed 
cabin-oracle as to weather, longitude, <fcc.) appeared in 
the cabin ; I felt a convulsive movement of his hand 
as he laid it on my arm, and on looking up, I observed 
that his face was white and haggard with agitation ; at 
length it found utterance in the following words : — 
" Sir, the ship has sprung a leak !" I defy any writer 
to describe exactly, or any reader to understand, the 
first sensations occasioned by an announcement of this 
nature, unless he has experienced them ; for each suc- 
ceeding suggestion, as the mind glanced over it with 
the rapidity of lightning, only seemed to magnify the 
peril of our situation, and almost to shut out hope ; we 
were about 1200 miles from Liverpool and mucli more 
distant from New York, a high sea running, and only 
provided with boats which, in a calm, might contain 
one fourth of the number on board. 

Tlie incessant creaking of the pumps, and the voice 
of the mate urging the men to continued exertion, 

showed that Mr. 's information was but too correct. 

In answer to my further inquiry he told me that there 



was much water in the hold, and that as far as he could 
learn it had neither diminished nor gained ground 
since the pumps began to work. Here was at least some 
ground for hope, so I intreated him not to communicate 
the fact to the ladies who were all in the after cabin, 
but to wait until morning, when, perhaps, some favor- 
able change might occur : he acquiesced in this view ; 
but having gone into the ladies' cabin to speak to his 
wife, a shrill scream from within soon apprized me that 
either his face or his tongue had told all. 

In a few minutes I went on deck and saw Captain 
Phillips alone on the poop. Being well aware how ill- 
timed and how hateful to all seamen, under such cir- 
cumstances, are the inquiries of passengers respecting 
" dano-er" and such particulars, I merely said, " Cap- 
tain, can I be of any use ?" The answer being, " Thank 
you sir, not to-night," I went again below and retired 
to my own cabin. 

There are seasons when the mind, shut out from all 
intercourse with the world around, communes with it- 
self and with the Almighty who formed it. When these 
meditations are aroused and quickened by the prospect 
of death, of a death, too, where the spirits and the frame 
are not excited by exertion, they embrace the past, the 
present, and the future, with a comprehensiveness and 
rapidity almost supernatural ; conscience wakes from 
the drowsy bed where it has been too long a sluggard, 
and memory, as if touched by Ithuriel's spear, starts 
into gigantic power and energy. Together, they draw 
back the veil from scenes long past and long forgotten, 
and present a picture for the soul to contemplate, so 
wide in its range, so minute in its details, so terribly faith- 
ful in its repre'sentations, that she would turn from it in 
dread and despair, were not the horizon lighted up by the 
sunshine of mercy unspeakably bright and boundless in 

^ Of the thoughts that crowded on my own mind, du- 
ring the first watches of this night, it is not fitting that 
I should say anything. I will only record with grati- 
tude that before midnight I fell fast asleep, and when I 
awoke at the usual hour on the following morning, I 


might have thought the scene of the preceding evening 
a dream, had not the continued and ceaseless creaking 
of the pumps assured me of its reality. 

On reaching the deck, I learned that the leak was 
much in the same state, and that the incessant pumping 
throughout the night had not diminished the water in 
the hold. Few of the passengers appeared at breakfast, 
and, among those few, but little conversation passed. — 
I could not help feeling for the irrepressible agony of 

mind evinced by H , the German wine-merchant, 

who had crossed the Atlantic to bring over his son, a 
fine boy of twelve years old. From my speaking to 
him in his native lano-naore he was more communica- 
tive with me than with the other passengers, and taking 
my arm in the greatest agitation he said, ••' Is it not too 
hard ? I care not for myself, but my poor boy, whom 
I have with such difficulty separated from his mother, 
must I see him drowned before my eyes ?" I endea- 
voured to comfort him with hopes which I did not en- 
tertain very strongly myself. 

In such emergencies, exertion is both a duty and a 
resource : and, hastening on deck, I found the captain 
busy in dividing all the able-bodied men on board into 
"gangs," who were to work the pumps successively, 
each taking an hour's labor at a time : every gang con- 
tained eight men, four of whom rested and worked al- 
ternately for an hour, when another was called to re- 
place lliem ; by thus dividing the fatigue among so 
many, it was hoped that we might hold out until we 
reached land ; and as the wind blew strong from the 
west, and the ship was found to make more water when 
beatins: against the sea than when going free, the cap- 
tain, directing his whole efforts to preserve life, put her 
about, and made all sail for the nearest port of Europe. 

Meantime I threw off my coat, jumped down among 
the Paddies on deck, joined myself to a "gang," and 
pumped away lustily, endeavoring to keep up their spi- 
rits, and stimulate their exertions. The younger pas- 
sengers in the cabin did so likewise, and the unanimity 
and good humour with which the labour was performed 
contributed much to banish the recollection of our dan- 


ger, and the gloomy thoughts which it would otherwise 
have engendered. 

All our efforts, however, although continued without 
intermission for twenty-four hours, seemed likely to 
prove unavailing, for on the morning of the 3rd, the 
water in the hold was found to have gained upon us 
considerably, and of course the chance of our founder- 
ing was proportionably increased. Captain Phillips no 
longer hesitated to put in practice an expedient which 
he had conscientiously deferred as long as possible, 
namely, to ease the ship by heaving over half her cargo. 
The leak had not been discovered, but he believed it 
to be owing to the starting of one of her timbers, occa- 
sioned by the unequal pressure of pig-iron, a great 
quantity of which was stowed away in the lower hold. 
Under this belief he expected much advantage from re- 
lieving the vessel of a portion of this iron, which is well 
known to be the most stiff, unyielding, and dangerous 
cargo that a ship, so circumstanced, could have on 
board.* Here then was opened a new field for exer- 
tion, and new food for hope ; the main-hatch was taken 
off, and gangs were again selected to hand the cargo 
from the hold, and heave it overboard : hi this also I 
took my share, and can aver that it was most laborious 
work, rendered more so by the rolling of the ship, and 
the slipperiness of the deck which was constantly flood- 
ed with water : as the heaviest goods (iron and cased 
tin) were near the bottom of the hold, we were obliged, 
before we could reach them, to heave over seventy or 
eighty enormous crates of earthenware, and they being 
too ponderous to be raised over the bulwarks (without 
employing mechanic power of which the circumstances 
would not admit) they were broken up on deck, and 
their contents thrown pell-mell into the sea. 

In spite of the danger of our situation, it was impos- 
sible to avoid laughing outright at the scene passing 
upon deck. A dozen of Ireland's most wild and rag- 
ged sons were collected round the crate, its fastenings 
were destroyed in a moment, and the unfortunate 

*At Fayal this conjecture proved to have been correct. 


crockery exposed to treatment most rude and merciless ; 
saucers, cups, plates, basins, were sent overboard with- 
out comment, but the quaint observations and strange 
gestures of the Paddies as they handled sauce-boats, tu- 
reens, and othor utensils, which many of them had ne- 
ver seen before, were amusing in the highest degree. — 
One fellow, wishing to show more strength and dexte- 
rity thaR his neighbours, was staggering under a great 
load of plates, when the ship gave a lurch, and he was 
washed off his legs, and rolled with the broken frag- 
ments of his crockery, in the lee-scuppers. The labour 
of getting rid of the cargo, added to the pumping, was 
continued the whole day; towards noon we got at the 
tin and iron, and at sunset, the mate calculated that we 
had heaved over twenty ton of crockery, and seventy 
ton of metal. 

Here I must pause, to dwell for a moment on the il- 
lustration, afforded by our present circumstances, of the 
inscrutable wisdom and mercy of that Being whom we 
are constantly incensing by our disobedience, and in- 
sulting by our ignorant complaints, but who, neverthe- 
less, bears with our infirmities, and often compels us to 
love and admiration by making the very grievances of 
which we complain the visible instruments of our pre- 
servation. This reflection was suggested by looking 
at the scene on deck ; for, during the first week of the 
voyage, we (in the cabin) had often complained of the 
smell, dirt, and other nuisances occasioned by the num- 
ber of emigrants stowed in the steerage, most of whom 
were, as I have said, of the most wretched and ragged 
class that Ireland exports to the colonies ; and we had 
often remarked how much more agreeable the voyage 
would have been had they not come on board. Had 
our wish been granted, our term of life had now been 
short indeed! — if the ship's complement had consisted 
only of the crew and cabin passengers, we should have 
been, ere this, worn down by fatigue, and unable to 
keep her afloat ; for, besides the ordinary sailors' duty, 
the pumps required six men at work without intermis- 
sion, day and night, while the heaving over of the car- 
go found full employment for twenty more ! 


During the whole of the 3rd the wind blew fresh 
from the north, and the captain made all sail for the 
Azores, which islands were between two and three 
hundred miles to the south. In the evening it changed 
to the south-west ; and, gradually increasing in vio- 
lence, before midnight became a heavy gale. It was 
indeed a dreadful night ; several storms of hail, the 
stones of which were larger than any I had ever seen 
in Europe, fell in rapid succession ; the ship laboured 
and rolled so heavily that it was with difficulty I could 
cling to my berth, while trunks, boxes, and everything 
not securely lashed, rolled about the cabin, making a 
din sufficient to keep even weariness from sleep. 

In the morning I scrambled on deck, clothed in a 
thick jacket ; and, partially sheltered under the wea- 
ther bulwarks, held fast to the rigging. I had read of 
storms at sea, but my conception had never figured 
anything so terrible as the scene before me. A lurid 
saffron light mingled with the dusky blackness of the 
clouds, which resembled the effect of some wide-spread 
conflagration at night, rather than the light of day ; the 
ship, after an ineffectual attempt at lying-to, was scud- 
ding under bare poles ; every stick had been reduced, 
and a storm-jib, which had been set a few minutes be- 
fore I came on deck, was blown into ribands ! The 
might of the o,cean was now aroused, and the large ship 
was a cock-boat ; three men were lashed to the helm, 
watching every plunge of her bows, and careful to save 
her from being struck by any of the tremendous seas 
which were sometimes towering high over her yard- 

Captain Phillips, who had been familiar with the 
Atlantic for two-and-twenty years, (and who had beha- 
ved throughout this trying scene with admirable firm- 
ness and self-possession,) assured me that never in win- 
ter or in summer had he encountered weather so severe, 
while the rolling of the ship rendered it almost impos- 
sible to work the pumps, for sometimes they would 
scarcely draw, and the men could not keep on their 
legs ; the hatches were closed, and the hold could not 
be sounded, but it was too certain, under these circum- 


Stances, that the leak was gaining ground. I saw the 
mate place an axe by the foot of the mast, a symptom 
which, together with the glances he interchanged with 
the captain, convinced me that they were preparing for 
the worst. To complete the gloom of the prospect we 
were driving with headlong speed to the north-east, 
that is, directly contrary to the quarter where was our 
only hope of finding a harbour. 

I seriously believed that our appointed time was at 
hand, when my reflections were disturbed by a sudden 
cry of warning from Captain Phillips, (who sprung up 
the weather mizzen-shrouds with the activity of a cat,) 
but before I could catch his meaning, or look around, a 
heavy sea struck us and broke over the quarter-deck, 
sweeping everything moveable before it. I was un- 
conscious of anything further until I found myself 
stuck in the lee-rigging, being thus providentially saved 
from being carried over-board. Drenched, bruised, 
and having lost my oil-skin hat, I retreated below, en- 
sconced myself in my berth ; and, favoured by the pre- 
ceding day's fatigue and a sleepless night contrived ere 
long to fall asleep. 

Early in the afternoon I went again on deck, and 
found that the gale had abated in violence ; but there* 
was still a very heavy sea, and the pumps were f^^orked 
with difficulty. The dissenting minister, (although 
not a man of powerful mind or energy,) was a serious 
and sincere Christian ; Avith the consent of the captain, 
he called together on deck from cabin, forecastle, and 
steerage, all who were disposed to join in the offices of 
devotion ; and after a prayer appropriate to the circum- 
stances in which we were placed, proceeded to read 
that magnificent portion of Scripture, where the Psalm- 
ist, after describing the wonderful works of the Almigh- 
ty, displayed on the deep in storm and terror, completes 
and concludes his graphic description with those mer- 
ciful and consolmg words, " He maketh the storm a 
calm, so that the waves thereof are still. Then are 
they glad because they be quiet : so He bringeth them 
unto their desired haven."* 

» Ps. 107, V. 23, et seq. 


Most of the labourers and sailors listened with serious 
attention ; but, alas ! there were some, especially 
among the latter, who sneered and scoffed at the exer- 
cise in which we were eno^aged, and I heard one fellow 
say to his messmate, "I say, Jack, this d — d gale o' wind 
and leak has all been owing to the parson ; if I could 
have had my way, we'd have heaved him overboard 
long before this ?" Such is human nature, when de- 
graded by ignorance and vice, and untouched by mercy 
or by grace. Later in the evening, the wind fell, and 
the sea subsided ; the pumps worked more easily ; and, 
as soon as it was daylight on the following morning, 
we were able to resume the labour of heaving over the 

The conduct of the ladies throughout this trying 
scene was most exemplary ; and although the relation 
of sister, child, and husband, involved in common dan- 
ger with them, added sharper pangs to the natural ter- 
ror inspired by their situation, they were almost uni- 
versally composed and resigned. 

On the 5th, the wind continued still to head us off 
from our attempt at reaching the Azores ; at 2 p. m. we 
made a sail on the weather-bow ; we hoisted signals of 
distress ; she noticed them, and bore down towards us : 
the weather being now moderate, she lowered a boat 
and sent a mate and half-a-dozen men on board of us. 
She proved to be the Lady Raffles, from Bengal, bound 
for London ; they said that if we were in extreme dan- 
ger, they could take a dozen or two of our complement, 
but that they were very crowded, had still one thou- 
sand two hundred miles to run, and were scant both of 
water and provisions. 

Great was the doubt and dispute and anxiety amidst 
our passengers, as to who should leave our unlucky 
ship, and return in safety to England. The German 

merchant, Mr. the architect and his wife, with 

one or two others in the cabin, who had been through- 
out most subdued and depressed by terror, determined 
at once to leave the ship : there was a fearful conflict in 
the mind of one of our passengers, who had been, I be- 
lieve, a lawyer in the west of Scotland, and had now 


sailed with his family for Canada, where he intended 
permanently to reside. I felt much for him, as he asked 
my advice whether he should return or remain. I told 
him that I could offer him no advice as I was alone, 
and he had his wife and children on board, but that I 
myself intended certainly to remain : he decided upon 
the latter course. 

While our departing passengers were collecting their 
baggage, I overheard a few words which fell from one 
of the Irish labourers, at which I could not refrain from 
smiling. I was rather a favorite among these poor fel- 
lows, as I had joked with them, and encouraged them 
at the pumps ; many of them had worked at the har- 
vest, in the west of Scotland, and knew my family, so 
they call me the young Scotch lord. They gathered 
eagerly towards the quarter-deck to learn who and how 
many were about to leave the ship : I then overheard 
one of them say, ''We'll just see what the young Scotch 
lord does ; if he stays, it's all right." Indeed, I think 
it probable that if I and two or three more of the cabin 
passengers had gone on board the Lady Raffles, these 
fellows would have considered themselves deserted, 
and believing their case to be hopeless, might have be- 
come quite unmanageable. 

As Mr. went over the ship's side I cautioned 

him strongly against alarming our friends and relations 
in England, by spreading reports of our danger on his 
return, and in half an hour we saw him and his com- 
panions safely placed on the deck of the Indiaman ;* we 
returned to our pumping and heaving out cargo, ma- 
king every exertion to reach the Azores. For three 
days these labours continued without intermission ; the 
lightening of the ship had produced a sensible effect 
upon the leak, but it was still so nearly balanced by 
the power of the pumps, that the latter could not be 
suspended for ten minutes in three hours, without risk. 
We were at one time threatened with a mutiny, on the 
subject of ardent spirits, which the steerage-passengers 

^ * I am sorry to add that this caution was neglected, and that on 
the arrival of the Lady Raffles reports of our having been left at sea 
in a hopeless condition were widely circulated. 


insisted upon having served out, whereas it had been 
determined from the first day of the leak to lock up the 
spirit-room, which did not contain a three days' supply 
for the number of claimants, who would have been more 
ungovernable while it lasted, and discontented when it 
was finished ; so the captain firmly adhered to his re- 
solution. A few of them, whose turn it was to pump, 
refused to work unless they got some whisky ; he told 
them they might be drowned, but that they should be 
drowned sober, not drunk. We prepared our fire-arms 
in the cabin to defend the spirit-room in case of neces- 

Meantime the resolute courage of the captain of the 
gang on duty (who was a powerful young man from 
Anglesea) settled the question ; he called out his men 
by rotation, and the first recusant he knocked down 
with his fist, the second he treated in the same manner, 
when seeing that he was determined, and that although 
they could get no whisky, they might, through a few 
minutes more delay, be drowned, they caught hold of 
the pump ; I jumped in among them, and we worked 
away as merrily as if nothing had happened. 

The breeze having continued favourable for twenty- 
four hours, we were rejoiced on the 8th by the cry of 
''land a-head ;" it proved to be Graciosa, the northern- 
most of the Azores. In the evening we shortened sail, 
and on the morning of the 9th were off Fayal. I leave 
it for the reader to imagine the sensations of delight and 
gratitude which accompanied the first view of this de- 
sired haven, after the fatigue and danger to which we 
had for nine days been exposed. 



Approach to Fayal. — Peak of Pico. — Reception by the British Consul. — 
The Town — its dechning State. — Politeness of the People. — Singular 
Custom. — Inauguration of the Emperor and Empress of Fayal. — The 
Fayal Authorities. — Agriculture. — Donkeys. — Volcanic Formation of 
the Island. — Market Days. — Cruelty to an Animal. — Delightful 
Climate. — Rock Pigeons. — A quaint old Hunter. — Perilous Ascent. 
— A good Shot. — The American Consul and his Daughters. — Beautiful 
Orange Garden. — Exquisite Scenery. — Evening Parties. — Absurd 
Custom. — Successful Attempt to reform it. 

The opening of these western islands from the north 
is strikingly beautiful. At first sight the round sloping 
hills of Fayal recall the Isle of Man to remembrance, 
but the soft air, the verdure, the orange groves, tell of 
a gentler climate ; while the Peak of Pico, with his lofty 
summit towering above a wreathed mantle of clouds, 
looks down upon the cluster of isles beneath with the 
pride of a mountain autocrat. After passing through 
the strait which separates Pico from Fayal, and round- 
ing two bold headlands in the latter island, the town 
gradually opens upon the view ; it is of a crescent form, 
the streets having followed the indented margin of the 
bay, and the hills, by which it is surrounded on three 
sides, are covered with orange, lemon, lime, box, gera- 
nium, and other beautiful shrubs. 

On landing, we went to the house of the British Con- 
sul, Mr. Walker, from whom we experienced a kind 

reception ; indeed he pressed Captain and myself 

with so much sincerity to take up our abode with him 
that we could not decline so agreeable an offer. Fayal 
does not boast of an inn or tavern of any description ; — 
the other cabin passengers were billetted in different 
half-occupied half-furnished houses, while the steerage 
emigrants were all quartered in a spacious convent 
which had been dismantled and pillaged by some of the 
adherents of Don Pedro ; meanwhile the poor Wa- 
verly would have sunk in the harbour, had not the cap- 


tain hired relays of Portuguese boatmen to pump her 
out continually until arrangements could be made for 
heaving her down, there being no dry dock in any port 
of the Azores. 

The town consists principally of one long straggling 
street, from which many smaller ones branch off at 
right angles. The buildings are generally whitewash- 
ed and have a cleanly appearance, but there are many 
and evident marks of declining trade, population, and 
wealth : some large houses are empty, others going to 
ruin, and the public buildings (which are spacious pic- 
turesque edifices, with no pretensions to architecture) 
are in a miserable state of dilapidation ; one of them 
seems to perform the functions of all the rest, as it an- 
swers the various purposes of customhouse, treasury, 
home and foreign office, a barrack, and a college ! — 
Some of the houses attest by their shattered doors and 
broken windows that they belonged to Miguelites du- 
ring the late civil war. The Pedro party is quite tri- 
umphant here, their few and feeble opponents having 
migrated to other islands. A stranger is much struck 
by the extraordinary and somewhat inconvenient po- 
liteness shown to him by all classes in the street : those 
in the upper ranks of life take off their hats and bow ; 
and the peasantry and labourers stand still and uncover- 
ed, while making way for him to pass. 

On the evening after our arrival I witnessed a cu- 
rious procession, the origin and description of which 
may be so far interesting, as throwing some light upon 
the habits and religious prejudices of the inhabitants. 
The island of Fayal is divided into eight parishes, of 
which three are in the town. In each of these are cho- 
sen, on every successive Sunday between Easter and- 
Whitsunday, an Emperor and an Empress : they are 
elected by universal suffrage of their fellow parishion- 
ers, from the middle and lower orders, their office last- 
ing, of course, one week : they may or may not be re- 
lated to each other, and have no power, authority, or 
privilege of any kind ; on the contrary, they are obliged 
to furnish wax candles for the churches on the day of 
heir inauguration, and to provide a certain quantity of 


food for the poor, and a treat of wine and other drink to 
their companions. The ceremony may probably cost 
them from twenty to thirty dollars ; and yet, such is the 
force of prejudice and habit, that even in the present 
depressed and impoverished state of the island, this 
empty distinction is sought with the greatest avidity by 
men who can scarcely find wherewithal to feed or clothe 
themselves and their families. I am assured, it is by 
no means uncommon for their imperial honours to be 
preceded, or followed, by a few weeks' imprisonment 
for debt. 

On the day of their installation they go in procession 
through the streets with flags and banners, discordant 
music, and still more discordant cries, to the church, 
where the priest places a silver tinsel crown upon their 
heads and performs other trifling ceremonies. As they 
pass along, they receive from many houses tribute of a 
small donation, which is offered by them at the church, 
for the Holy Ghost, in honour of whom the festival is 
said to have been originally instituted : a collection is 
always made, because it appears to be the custom of the 
lower orders when attacked by sickness or disease, to 
go to bed, and, taking neither remedy nor medical ad- 
vice, to vow so many farthings to the Holy Ghost on 
this occasion, in the event of their recovery. The 
evening is closed by drinking and dancing to a jing- 
ling guitar, until fatigue and intoxication terminate the 

Such is a brief outline of the inauguration of the 
Emperor and Empress of Fayal. " Take physic, 
Pomp !" and see how low, even in human estimation, 
the imperial name may fall !* -If in future ages our dis- 
embodied spirits are permitted to recall and review the 
scenes in which they mingled while on earth, perhaps 

* Conf. Schiller's Piccolomini, Act iii. Sc. 3. 

'* So iniisst es einem seligen Geiste seyn, 
Der aus den wohmungen der eurgen iFrende. 
Zu seinen kinder spielen, und Geschaften, 
Zu seinem neigungen, und Briiderschaften, 
Zum ganzen armen menscheit weiderkehrte !" 


the glories, the treasures, the quarrels and jealousies of 
the rulers of nations will appear as trifling, as worth- 
less and ephemeral, as the idle pageant above descri- 
bed. . -^^--^ ^. 

The Fayal authorities, whether civil, military, or ec- 
clesiastic, seem to be very unimportant personages both 
as to their duties and appointments. The police, such 
as it is, appears to be under the control of a prefect and 
subordinate officers, who also attend the custom-house, 
the prohibitory regulations of which are as severe as in 
the frontier districts of Prussia or Austria. During my 
stay, the military governor's force consisted of a few 
recruits miserably drilled and accoutred ; the artillery 
boasted of eleven men and a lieutenant ; while the re- 
ligious establishments were directed by an Ouvidor or 
superintendant, responsible to a superior resident at Ter- 
ceira, the latter being the deputy of the Bishop of the 
Azores, who was at this time (1834) supposed to be 
with Don Pedro's army. 

The agriculture of the island is as remarkable for la- 
borious industry, as for the awkwardness and want of 
skill with which that industry is applied. The hills 
are cultivated to the very top, while many of the more 
fertile spots in the valleys are exhausted by overcrop- 
ping, and rendered unproductive by neglect. The vin- 
tage had failed for several successive years ; but the 
proprietors of farms, who are generally merchants in 
the town, could not lower the rents in consequence of 
their commercial losses ; the natural consequence is 
that the soil has been burthened and exhausted in the 
attempt to extract from it an unusual quantity of pro- 
duce. The carts, drawn only by oxen and cows, are 
huge ponderous machines, with enormous wheels very 
narrow in the tire. As might be expected, they cut an 
unpaved road into holes and ruts in a very few days. — 
The jolting and creaking sounds emitted by the dry 
axles of these primitive vehicles, prevent any conver- 
sation from trespassing in their neighbourhood. 

The streets are execrably paved, and altogether the 
most favourable I ever saw for the production of bro- 
ken shins and sprained ancles. There are very few 


horses or ponies on the island, donkeys being used for 
those excusions which are too long to be performed on 
foot by the elderly merchants and ladies. We had 
many amusing scenes with these obstinate though sure 
footed animals, while making trips of pleasure to the 
gardens and villas above the town ; for they knew so 
well the roads leading to their favourite haunts or sta- 
bles, that they were very little disposed to consult the 
wishes of their riders as to the line of march, and a dis- 
pute upon this point was generally accompanied by 
smart blows on one side, and sundry active and absurd 
flourishes of the heels on the other. 

The volcanic formation of the island meets the eye 
in every quarter : the houses are built and the streets 
are paved with lava, and many of the rough stones ly- 
ing about the hills and in the beds of the streams, look 
as if they were quite fresh from the furnace. There 
seems to be no scarcity of domestic animals. On the 
market days, which are Thursday and Sunday, the 
town wears a very busy appearance. An ordinary 
cow is worth fourteen or fifteen dollars, a pig two, a 
sheep one and a half, and fowls are sold at a shilling 
each English money. 

A few days after our arrival, an incident occurred, 
which shows the necessity for extending Mr. Martin's 
act beyond the shores of Great Britain. A ragged fel- 
low,employed occasionally as a sedan-chairman, bought 
a miserable donkey for three shillings, and putting a 
rope round the poor animal's neck dragged it about the 
town, vociferating its merits, and endeavoring to make 
some profit by reselling it ; presently it was so exhaust- 
ed by fatigue and weakness that it dropped down in 
the street ; he beat it most unmercifully with a cudgel 
till he broke one of its legs, and dragged it forward on 
its sidC; while a rabble of boys and street-vagabonds 
drew it by the tail, threshing it with thongs and sticks. 
I was sitting at dinner in the English Consul's house 
when these wretches, with the victim of their cruelty, 
passed before the windows. I caught up a loaded gun 
and sallied forth to the rescue ; but the poor creature 
was past all hope of recovery from the blows and 


wounds it had already received. I lost no time, how- 
ever, in terminating its sufferings by lodging the charge 
of my gun in its brain. Meanwhile, the chairman 
worked himself into a great fury, stamped, tore his hair, 
shook his fist, and poured forth a torrent of Portuguese 
Billingsgate, which produced little effect upon me, who 
did not understand it. He also threatened to appeal to 
the judge ; a threat he was too prudent to put in exe- 
cution, being- well aware that his own conduct would 
not have met with judicial approbation. 

I never, in any part of the world enjoyed a climate so 
delightful. At mid-day the sun was powerful ; but the 
heat was always tempered by the fresh ocean-breeze, 
which prevented any sensation of lassitude. I fre- 
quently amused myself by long walks into the interior 
in pursuit of quails, which were abundant ; but as, at 
this season, they were chiefly in the standing crops, 
my sport was thereby much curtailed. Sometimes, 
indeed, I ventured to trespass therein, but was general- 
ly recalled to a sense of my offence by loud cries from 
the labourers. I must own that they were very good- 
humoured on these occasions, and never carried their 
warnings to the length of threats or incivility. 

I went out several times in search of rock-pigeons. 
These birds are not unlike the blue pigeons found in 
the islands on the west coast of Scotland. They are 
small, slate-coloured, and fly with exceeding rapidity ; 
they build their nests in the crevices of the black pre- 
cipitous rocks which gird the S. W. shore of the island. 
The best time for shooting them is during the heat of 
the day, when they fly in countless numbers into the 
interior to slake their thirst at the fresh springs among 
the hills. The hunter who knows these resorts, may, 
by concealing himself, kill as many in two or three shots 
as he can wish to carry home. I went with an old 
hunter to attack them in their rocky haunts ; his ap- 
pearance was picturesque in the extreme, and very 
nearly answered the description of Cooper's inimitable 
"Leather-stocking," for he was clad in a jerkin of lea- 
ther, leggings of the same material protected his legs, 
on his feet were sandals of undressed ox-hide, and 


on his head a rough sheep-skin cap : he carried an old 
Spanish fowling-piece, the barrel of which was of great 
length and solidity, while the ponderous lock was so 
slow in its movement, and the priming-pan so distant 
from the breech, that it seemed constructed on purpose 
to give warning to the object at which it was levelled, 
to move out of danger ; in fact, it would require no great 
stretch of imagination to liken the discharge of this pri- 
mitive firelock to a pinch of snuff administered to an 
unpractised nose, where one hears the nasal sniff ac- 
companying the admission of the powder into the nos- 
tril, and after a minute or two, the report of the conse- 
quent sneeze. 

Armed with this venerable weapon, the no less vene- 
rable hunter contrived to be the most celebrated poacher 
on the island. He brought more quails and pigeons to 
market than any other man ; his sagacity was great, 
and his patience inexhaustible ; he never wasted pow- 
der and shot upon a single member of the feathered 
tribe, but crept into ravines, hid himself behind the 
walls or hedges ; and whenever he could find a luck- 
less family of quails at their morning meal and grouped 
conveniently for his purpose, or whenever a thick flight 
of pigeons passed over his head, he fired into the midst 
of them, never showing malice against any individual 
of the species, but giving them all an equal chance of 
destruction or escape with most praiseworthy impar- 
tiality ; however, as the gun above-described was gene- 
rally loaded with a full charge of powder and about 
three ounces of shot, he rarely returned with an empty 

With this quaint old hunter I sallied forth one morn- 
ing along the shore, in search of pigeons. After walk- 
ing for a mile or two, the sloping beach abruptly ter- 
minated, and we continued our course along a narrow 
ledge of rocks, which was, for some distance, but little 
raised above the sea ; on our other hand were the high 
black precipices to which I have before referred, and 
among which hundreds of pigeons were wheeling and 
circling in the air, quite out of the range of shot. After 
a time, the old man quietly said that we must go to the 


top of the rocks, as we should there find better sport. 
I looked at the dark frowning masses above us, and 
thought either that he was in a joke or that I misun- 
derstood him, as I had but small skill in the Portu- 
guese tongue ; nevertheless, he said there were " steps" 
or " stairs," and led the way towards them. On arri- 
ving at the indicated spot, I was indeed surprised to 
find that there were notches or steps in the rock, partly 
natural, and partly cut by hunters or smugglers, which 
afibrded sufficient foot-hold for a practised climber. 
My old companion seemed quite familiar with this 
path, and went up it as leisurely as if he had been 
walking on level ground : I followed as well as I was 
able, but, before I was half-way, wished that 1 had not 
attempted it ; for independently of the novelty of the 
exercise, I laboured under disadvantages from which 
he was free ; his soft pliant sandles enabled him to 
cling better with his feet than I could with a pair of 
thick shooting-shoes ; and he scrupled not to use his 
long barrelled gun as a prop or staff whenever he re 
quired its aid ; my short double-barrel could answer no 
such purpose, so it was with some risk and difficulty 
that I kept close to my guide ; I never looked down- 
wards, being afraid that my head might become giddy ; 
and when we reached the top, I was more glad than I 
chose to express. 

If the activity of old " Leather-stocking" surprised 
me, I was soon able to surprise him in turn ; for, two 
pigeons passing over us in full flight, I fired right and 
left, and had the satisfaction of seeing them both drop 
within ten yards of his feet. I never saw astonishment 
so visibly painted on a human face ; for a minute he 
seemed unable to articulate, and when he did speak, 
the only words he uttered were, '• O diabo o spingad 
ed o cacador ?"* We continued our ramble until late 
in the afternoon, and returned laden with pigeons. 

The wealthiest proprietor in Fayal is Mr. D — , 

the American Consul ; we found him extremely hos- 
pitable 5 and, as his daughters and a friend on a visit 

* The gun is a devil, and so is the hunter. 


to them were the first American ladies whom I had 
seen, I observed their manners, appearance, and con- 
versation, with no Uttle interest. Abhorring as 1 do 
the custom, too prevalent among travellers, of lepaying 
the courtesies shown to them abroad by violating the 
privacy of the society into which they have been ad- 
mitted, I shall say no more here, than that the impres- 
sion which I received at Fayal was most favourable, 
and that the hours spent in the American consul's 
house were most agreeable.* Adjoining it was a beau- 
tiful orange-garden, and there, when the heat of the 
sun invited to the enjoyment of shade, I often stretched 
myself under the boughs of a large orange-tree, feasting 
my eyes on the lovely prospect below, and occasionally 
refreshing my thirst with the delicious fruit which 
tempted me from above ; the narrow sea dividing Fayal. 
from Pico, was studded with fishing and ferry boats, 
beyond which were stretched the black rocks and hang- 
ing vineyards of the opposite coast, while the distant 
landscape was filled by the undulating hills of St. 
George's Island ; but the object on which my eye most 
loved to dwell, was that noble peak to which I have 
before referred. There may be many higher mountains 
in the world, but, (excepting the Peak of Tenerifte,) 
there is none that rises abruptly from the level of the 
sea to so great an elevation. On one side of it is al- 
most a continuous precipice, and its height is calcula- 
ted at 9000 feet ; it is " alone in in its glory," no rivat 
summit robs it of one fleecy " loaiiAerer of the sky ;"t 
it seems as if every cloud within the sphere of its at- 
traction came to repose upon its lofty crest ; and as they 
feel the influence of the winds which sweep unobstruc- 
ted over the wide ocean, they are wreathed and piled 
into a thousand varied and fantastic shapes, ever chang- 
ing their colour as they receive the impression of the 
solar rays. 

* One of the cabin-passengers in the Waverly, a young Scotch gentle- 
man, was so severely wounded by the bright eyes of a daughter of the 
Consul, that he afterwards returned from Canada, and married her. 

t " Scgler the Lufte."— >Sci7Zer. 


It may be well imagined that the arrival of the Wa- 
verly had created no small sensation in Fayal, and 
several evening parties were given by the Portuguese 
leader of fashion in honour of the " distinguished fo- 

We found them at first very dull and formal, from 
the custom which was universally observed of separa- 
ting the gentlemen from their fair partners, and thus 
restricting all conversation between them to the pe- 
riod when they were actually engaged in dancing. — 
The ball-room was generally the termination of the 
suite of apartments ; round it and close to the walls sat 
all the ladies, playing with their fans, chatting to each 
other in whispers, and looking as if all their happiness 
was in expectancy ; in the adjoining ante-room the 
men lounged, or stood in small groups, while the most 
gallant placed themselves at the folding-doors looking 
wistfully into the paradise which they seemed forbid- 
den to enter. When the music began, they hastened 
forward, claimed their respective partners, and after the 
dance returned to the outer apartment ; or if a few lin- 
gered in the ball-room, it was only to stand opposite to 
the fair wall-flowers where every sentence spoken was 
necessarily overheard by the persons on either side. 

After enduring this unnecessary penance for some 
time, two or three bold spirits from the Waverly deter- 
mined to efiect a radical reform of the social abuse < 

Accordingly, to the surprise of the islanders, we 
brought chairs i\i from the adjoining room ; and after 
the dance, seated ourselves by the ladies' bench, and 
entered into conversation with them. The unexpected 
audacity of this proceeding, precluded all possibility of 
resistance on the part of the maintainors of the " an- 
cien regime." Not only was our triumph complete ; 
but before we left Fayal, we had the satisfaction of 
seeing the lieutenant of artillery and other native beaux 
follow our heroic example. 



A Marine Excursion. — Novel Mode of landing. — Dinner with Captain L, 
— A Portuguese Ecclesiastic. — Latin Conversation with him. — Pico. 
Wine. — Excursion resumed. — Disagreeable Quarters. — A Storm. — 
Providential Escape. — Velas. — Volcanic Craters. — A buried Church. — 
Unlucky Search for Game. — Female Costume. — Fuel. — Return to 
Fayel. — The Waverly again ready for Sea. — Serious Affray. — Its 
Consequences. — A Street Squabble. — Cowardly Threats. — Leave 

After a fortnight thus agreeably spent in Fayal, I 
determined to see some of the other islands ; and ac- 
cordingiy hired a boat manned by four stout seamen 
and a pilot, whose services I engaged for a week. 

Not being able to prevail upon any of my fellow-pas- 
sengers to accompany me on this excursion, I embark- 
ed with Mr. 5 the son of the Dutch consul, who 

was kind enough to volunteer his company, which was 
the more agreeable and useful inasmuch as he spoke 
the language fluently, and was acquainted with many 
persons in the places that I was about to visit. We 
started with a fresh breeze, and ran across the channel 
separating Fayal from Pico, (which is eight or nine 
miles wide,) in the space of an hour. 

As we approached the shore, I could distinguish a 
village composed of a few dozen scattered houses ; a 
few people were also to be seen, and boats, and nets, 
but I could nowhere discern a creek or harbour, nor 
any indication of a landing-place. The coast is girt by 
black and frowning rocks ; and although there was not 
a heavy sea running, a formidable row of breakers 
dashed over the point for which our pilot was steering. 
I was utterly at a loss to conceive how we were to ef- 
fect a landing : but, being myself only a passenger, and 
seeing the rest of the party apparently unconcerned, I 
had nothing to do but to remain in my seat and watch 
their movements in silence. 


As soon as the boat was within a few yards of the 
rocks half-a-dozen stout fellows, armed with long pole?, 
were prepared to assist our disembarkation. Two of 
our own boat's crew stood on the bows provided with 
similar staves, (which resemble very closely the iron- 
shod punt-poles used by the bargemen in the Thames,) 
with these the boatmen and those on shore fended us 
oif for a minute or two, until the boat being raised by a 
wave larger than the rest, they gave a simultaneous 
shout, and allowed her to be carried high upon the 
rocks, those on shore breaking her fall by applying 
their shoulders and fenders brought down for the pur- 
pose. This mode of landing was new to me, but I pre- 
sume those who are accustomed to it, like it as well as 
drawing a boat upon a sandy beach. I do not think I 
ever saw finer or more muscular fissures than the bare- 
armed bare-legged fellows who attend the landing of 
Pico boats. Their countenances are swarthy and sun- 
burnt, and they seem to live half their lives in the surf, 
and to treat its foam and rage with the coolest indiffe- 

On going up to the village, I heard that Captaia 

L had come from Fayal early in the day, and was 

giving a dinner to the dignitaries of the island : I de- 
termined upon witnessing this scene of hospitality ; 
and, on entering the room, I found the captain doing 
the honours at the end of a table, round which sat a 
dozen persons, total strangers to me, and who must have 
been, half-an-hour before, equally strange to their ex- 
cellent entertainer. As he could not speak a word of 
Portuguese, nor of any other language intelligible to 
his guests, the conversation, carried on by signal, and 
the civilities interchanged by 

Quips and cranks, and wanton wiles, 
Nods and becks, and wreathed smiles, 

was amusing in the highest degree. The captain ha- 
ving made his friends understand that I was a Scottish 
grandee of the first class, I was treated with the most 
profound respect, and the distinguished post of croupier 
was forthwith assigned to me. 


After a few minutes passed in bowing to my right 
and left, and in various modes of telegraphic commu- 
nication, I perceived that the chair on the right of our 
host was occupied by a portly good-humoured eccle- 
siastic. The bright idea immediately struck me that I 
might here derive some advantage from my Eton edu- 
cation, so I addressed the priest with a " salve, vir re- 
verendissime," v/hich instantly drew his attention, and 
that of the whole company, to my learned self; the 
good priest rose from his chair and answered my salu- 
tations in a torrent of complimentary eloquence, which 
showed me but too plainly that the pronunciation of 
Latin, as taught at Eton, had not fitted me for under- 
standinof or beino- understood in conversation with a 
Portuguese. But the good priest was so delighted at 
the opportunity thus given himj for astonishing his 
companions with the learning of himself and the Scot- 
tish grandee, that he soon found means to obviate the 
difficulty resalting from the difference of our pronun- 
ciation. Two sheets of paper were provided, on one of 
-vhich he wrote me a complimentary address on my 
arrival, assuring me therein that the '^ Scottish nation 
was the greatest on earth, that the island of Pico had 
never been so honoured before, and that my visit would 
be treasured in its latest annals." 

Having had some experience in public dinners in 
Britain, 1 flatter myself I was not a bad match for the 
priest at the weapons v.^hich he had chosen. I assured 
him '■ that my feelings of gratification were too over- 
whelming to be conveyed in words ; that this was, 
without exception, the proudest moment of my life, and 
that I congratulated the island of Pico on the posses- 
sion of a reverend luminary whose learninof and elo- 
quence were not inferior to that of Grotias or Eras- 
mus !" 

It was difficult to retain my gravity while the good 
man read this effusion half aloud to Jumself, and after- 
wards translated it into Portuguese for the benefit of 
the auditors. Unequivocal expressions of admiratjon 
and satisfaction circulated through the company ; and 
being desirous of securing an honorable retreat in or- 


der that I might continue my excursion, I thought no 
fairer opportunity than the present could occur ; so I 
withdrew amid bows and compHments yet more pro- 
fuse than those that accompanied my entrance, and am 
much disappointed if my name be not recorded in Pico 
as the " Admiral Crichton" of this century. 

I wished very much to ascend the peak, but was as- 
sured it was impracticable until the month of August, in 
consequence of the rmmber of deep fissures covered 
by soft and melting snow. I endeavoured by the offer 
of money to induce several of the islanders to accom- 
pany me as guides in the ascent of the mountain ; but 
finding that they invariably refused, I was obliged 
to give up the attempt. I understand that several ac- 
tive pedestrians have succeeded in reaching the top,, 
but it has always been during the autumn months 
that the ascent has been successfully attempted. 

There is little or no society in Pico, as it belongs 
chiefly to proprietors who reside in Fayal, and who 
visit their property only at those seasons when their 
presence is necessary. Wine is the sole produce worth 
mentioning. The quantity made in this island, and 
sold in London as Madera, is much greater than is 
generally known, or than the English merchants would 
be content to acknowledge. On the island it may be 
very cheaply purchased ; it is always mixed with a 
considerable portion of brandy, and the best that I have 
tasted is certainly equal to Madeira of second quality. 
The whole broad base of the peak, and indeed all that 
part of Pico which fell under my observation, is cov- 
ered with vineyards. Few of the orange or other ver- 
dant plants that adorn the hills of Fayal, are here to 
be seen. The island wears altogether a dark and 
gloomy aspect, rendered yet more threatening by the 
black rocks which guard its shore, and by the gigan- 
tic crest of the peak which towers above it from its 
throne of clouds. 

Having re-embarked, we coasted along the shore to 
a smal 1 village a few miles to the eastward, where it 
was proposed that we should pass the night. The 
evening was beautiful, and the air so still that our men 


were obliged to take to the oars. I was not a little 
amused at the strang-e objurgations with which they 
stimulated each other to labour : " Vamos, perga, — 
perga, — vamos con Deos," (fee. 

We arrived about sunset at our resting-place ; and, 
owing to the calmness oi the water, effected our land- 
ing more easily than in the morning. We took up 
our quarters at a large empty house, belonging to a 
merchant residing in Fayal, who had permitted us to 
make what use we could of it, and had warned us that 
we should find little comfort or attendance. The room 
into which I was shown was spacious and entirely 
devoid of furniture, except a deal table, a wooden chair, 
and an old bedstead in the corner, over which was 
spread one of those abominable cotton wadded cover- 
lets, which rarely see the laundry, and which are made 
to answer the purpose of counterpane, blanket, and 
sheet. Being somewhat tired; I was rash enough to 
venture my person on this uninviting couch : but in 
less than half an hour, sustained an attack sufficiently 
disagreeable to make me repent my audacity. Fortu- 
nately I had not extinguished the rushlight ; spring- 
ing out of bed I seized it, and bringing it to the scene 
of battle, found it positively alive with the crawling 
vermin from which I had effected my escape. I took 
my revenge upon ten or twelve of the ringleaders, who 
were still on my pillow ; and throwing myself on the 
floor in a corner of the room with my cloak around 
me, was soon fast asleep. 

On the following morning, we embarked for the 
island of St. George, which was about twenty or 
twenty-five miles distant. Although the sky looked 
somewhat threatening, our pilot (who was an expe- 
rienced boatman) said that we should cross before tlie 
bad weather came ; but that if we remained an hour 
or two longer, we might be detained some time. On 
this occasion his experience seemed to have misled 
him : we were not yet half way across when it came 
on to blow very fresh, and our small open boat was 
tossed about like a cockle-shell on the mighty Atlantic, 
which began, like a lion roused, to snort and roar un> 

A STORM. 41 

der the impulse of the breeze. Every minute the wmd 
increased in violence ; black heavy clouds were piled 
in the western sky, and gave evidence, not to be mis-, 
taken, of an approaching storm, Two of the sailors, 
who seemed to be fellows of weak and cowardly cha-. 
racter, began to cry and howl, and call on all the saints 
in their calendar, and we were obliged to reduce them 
to silence by the application of a smart blow from a 
cane, and threats of still rougher usage. 

Our only hope of safety now rested in the dexterity 
of the pilot, who skilfully eased off the bows of his 
boat, and made her rise buoyantly over the white an- 
gry waves which threatened to break over her. All 
his exertions, however, could not prevent our shipping 
a great deal of water, which I and another were con- 
stantly employed m balino- out with our hats. As we 
had not provided ourselves with ballast sufficient for 

an emergency like this, Mr. and a sailor (the two 

heaviest of the party) was desired to lie down in the 
bottom of the boat to assist in keeping her steady. Hav- 
ing reduced our lateen sail to demensions little larger 
than an ordinary pocket-handkerchief, we scudded on 
with fearful speed towards the port of Velas, to which 
we were bound. 

Every ten minutes, as they past, added to the angry 
appearance both of sea and sky, and we were momea- 
tarily in imminent danger of being swamped. It re.- 
quired only one mistaken turn of the helm, or wrist, 
to bring us in collision with one of the huge breakers 
over which we were now driving with such reckless 
speed, and we must have been buried under it in an 
instant, without hope of rescue or escape. However, 
it pleased Providence that we should reach the shore 
in safety. As we approached the pier, which protects 
the little fishing harbour of Velas, most of its inhabi- 
tants, who had viewed' our approach with anxiety and 
interest, hastened down to the beach : when we stepped 
on shore, they crowded round the pilot, eager to learn 
what urgent business or important political event had 
brought him over in such tempestuous weather. This 
man had some dry native humour, and (having learned 


from Mr. ■ that I had brought my fowling-piece 

with an intention of shooting a few of the rabbits which 
were said to abound in the hills) he answered them 
very gravely, " 'Tis only an Englishman come to 
shoot rabbits !" The crowd dispersed with various 
exclamations, some of surprise, others of incredulity, 
but none very flattering to my wisdom or prudence. 

We lost no time in making our way to the house 
where we were to take up our quarters. It was an 
unfurnished building of very moderate dimensions. 
We soon, however, procured a table and a few chairs, 
supplying the remainder of the furniture from our 
own baggage. 

Velas is a small town containing about 3000 inhabi- 
tants ; its situation is most beautiful and picturesque, 
extending along the shores of the little bay that forms 
the harbour, and surrounded on three sides by steep 
mountains covered with luxuriant shrubs to the very 
summit, among which I noticed tne orange, lemon, 
peach, and vine, which, at this delightful season, were 
mostly either in blossom or just budding into fruit. 

The day after my arrival I went to see the craters 
formed by the last volcanic eruption which occurred 
in 1808 : they are about 3000 feet above the level of 
the sea, and are seven or ei^ht in number : all the 
little valleys and watercourses in their vicinity are 
choked by lava, the main stream of which, however, 
ran down the opposite or eastern declivity of the island; 
there its course is marked with fearful evidence. The 
whole summit is strewed with black sand, and the side 
of the hill below is a wide continued waste of lava. 
Yet even in the very midst of this vast fiery deluge 
one small verdant spot has been permitted to remain 
(like the rainbow in the heaven) an emblem of sparing 
mercy amid the most destructive inflictions of Provi- 

I was much amused with my guide telling me that 
the mountain on which we stood, was full of volcanic 
fire close to the surface; in proof of which, he bade 
me put my finger down to the cinders on which I was 
walking, and feel their excessive heat. 1 did so, and 


truly enough they were hot ; but not being quite such 
a simpleton as he was himself or believed me to be, I 
scraped up a few of the ashes with my foot, and bid- 
ding him then put in his finger, showed him that the 
deeper he went the cooler they were, and that the heat 
proceeded altogether from the rays of the sun. Near 
the base of the hiU is still to be seen the steeple of a 
church, emergingfrom the lava under which the body of 
the building lies buried. The inhabitants consider the 
extraordinary preservation of this steeple as a mark of 
the peculiar favour of Heaven for the spot ; and, re- 
gardless of the destruction which overwhelmed the 
former village, they have built a new one precisely on 
the same site. There the vine, the fig, and the orange, 
are already starting into luxuriance, and the villagers 
point with confidence to their antediluvian spire, care- 
lessly pursuing their daily avocations above graves of 
their pi'edecessors and the slumbering fire below. 

Having been informed that the sides of the hills 
which had been spared by the eruption, abounded 
with rabbits, I toiled up thither with my fowling-piece 
under a hot sun, the rays of which were rendered 
more oppressive by reflection from the blackened sur- 
face over which I walked. The services of a native 
hunter were engaged for the occasion, and he appeared 
on the hill accompanied by half-a-dozen curs and by 
three times as many boys and country lads, who had 
come out to see the foreigner shoot. The brushwood 
was very thick, and averaged two or three feet in 
lieight, so that it was impossible to get a shot, unless 
the rabbits chose to cross from one patch of cover to 
the other. As it happened, this was not their choice, 
the hunter whistled, the boys shouted, and the curs 
yelped incessantly, but to no purpose ; and after idle- 
ing away an hour or two in this profitless sport, I re- 
turned towards the town. 

The language, manners, and habits of the people 
were, of course, much the same as those at Fayal ; 
nor did I see any thing remarkable in their dress, ex- 
cepting that of the females when goino- to mass. This 
consists of a large black crape fastened at the waist, 


covering the head, and passing over a very wide square 
of pasteboard or wood. It skives them a most extraor- 
dinary appearance, and althougli it probably answers 
the intended purpose of protecting the wearer from the 
sun, it makes the upper part of the figure strange and 
disproportioned to the lower. 

Fire- wood, both in this and the neighbouring islands, 
is extremely scarce, and the poorer inhabitants are in 
the habit of collecting cow-dung, which, when dried 
in the sun, they cut into squares, pihng them like peat 
in Scotland. They use it as fuel, and when once ig- 
nited it burns well and retains the heat a long time, 
Those who are familiar with the writmgs of Eastern 
travellers, must be well aware that the camel's drop- 
ping is similarly applied by the wandering Arab and 
Tartar tribes both in Asia and Africa.* 

After rambling for several days about this pretty 
picturesque island, I determined to return to Fayal, 
and embarked accordingly. Old Ocean was in one of 
his tranquil moods, and his surface, was as smooth 
and still as a mill-pond, affording an excellent oppor- 
tunity to those who might be fond of the exercise of 
rowing. The distance being twenty-five miles, we 
did not reach our destination till late in the evening, 
and I was not ill-disposed to enjoy the comfort and 
cleanliness of the consul's house after the annoyance 
from fleas and other vermin to which I had been, dur^ 
ing my excursion, exposed. 

We had now been a month in the Azores, and the 
repairs of the Waverley were nearly completed ; by 
many of the party it was with mingled feelings of re- 
gret and satisfaction that the announcement of her 
readiness for sea was received. As I am not a sailor, 
and still less a ship carpenter, I shall not attempt any 
minute description of the appearance or causes of the 
leak. When examined, after heaving down, there 
was a rent or fissure of about six feet in length, and 

* I little thought while writing this sentence, that on the following 
year I should be myself siltinp-, vvith a horde of North American Indians, 
round a fire made of buffalo-dung, on the great Western Prairies of the 


capable of admitting such a body of water, that it was 
a matter of astonishment how the ship had been kept 
so long afloat at sea. The captain was confirmed in 
his belief that the accident had been occasioned by a 
strain arising from the injudicious stowage of iron, 
and the vessel plunging against a heavy sea ; but he 
very prudently did not tell us a fact of which he must 
have been well aware, that, although a finely propor- 
tioned and handsomely rigged vessel, she was some- 
what crank in her timbers, and had been built less 
with a view to durability than to economy and space. 

It was decided that we were to embark on the 12th 
of June, and the intervening days were spent in excur- 
sions of pleasure to the neighbouring villas, and the 
evenings in music and dancing. As the embarkation 
of so many persons was a matter of some time and 
trouble, (there being neither dock nor pier in the har- 
bour,) it was prudently arranged that the steerage 
passengers should go on board on the 11th. 

On the afternoon of that day I was enjoying my last 
dinner at the table of my hospitable and worthy host, 
when I suddenly heard my name shouted by a female 
voice, with howls and lamentations not to be mistaken, 
^'- Oh, your honor, your honor ! my lord, my lord, it's 
yourself must come down to the beach immediately ; 
for they have kilt my poor Dennis, and murdered us 
all entirely." Understanding from her cries that there 
was no time to be lost, I caught up my walking stick, 
and hastened after her to the scene of action. My 
arrival, however, was too late to be of any service to 
the poor Irishman, several of whom were stretched 
upon the sand, some severely wounded, and two or 
three without sense or motion. As for poor Dennis, 
(by whose wife I had been summoned,) I thought he 
was certainly dead. Upon examining his head, I 
found that it had been cleft open with a hatchet, the 
skull itself was fractured; neither could we extract 
from the unfortunate man any symptoms of life. After 
giving a hasty glance at the other wounded men, I 
found that, although badly hurt, none of them were in 
immediate danger. 


The report of the affray had soon circulated through 
the town, and assistance was promptly offered to those 
who were able to avail themselves of it. I devoted 
myself altogether to poor Dennis, whose wife was now 
seated on the beach, holding his head in her lap, and 
endeavouring to staunch the blood that flowed from his 
wound. As he was a very strong and powerful man, 
and apparently of a sanguine temperament, I thought 
(if he yet indeed lived) that more danger was to be 
apprehended from brain fever than from effusion of 
blood, so I obliged her to desist, and to permit the 
blood to flow ; and, having obtained assistance, con- 
veyed the sufferer to a large half-furnished apartment 
which was called by courtesy an hospital. I lost no 
no time in sending for the nearest surgeon : a little 
dapper Portuguese came in ; and having slightly 
examined the wound and the ghastly appearance of 
the patient, he coolly said, " He could be of no use, for 
the man was dead," and soon after left the room. 

I know not wherefore I had the impression that the 
poor man was not past hope of recovery, but I sent 
immediately for a young Englishman, one of our 
cabin passengers, who had gone through his medical 
studies, and having seen something of hospital practice, 
was about to push his fortune in Canada. Even before his 
arrival, the patient showed some symptoms of his life : 
a feather moved when held before his mouth, a faint 
motion betokened the struggle of returning animation, 
and the joyful cries uttered by the wife were ahnost as 
wild as those which had before proceeded from her 
agony. The young surgeon went about his difficult 
task with much skill and self-possession. I asked him 
if he had ever assisted in the operation of trepanning ; 
— he said that he had not, and had never seen it per- 
formed but once. All that he was able to do was, 
after shaving away the hair, to press gently but firmly 
together the separated portions of the cranium. In 
this I assisted him as well as I was able : we then clo- 
sed the lips of the wound, and bound up his head 
tightly with a strong linen bandage. It is needless to 
describe the tedious process of returning animation, or 


the striig2:les by which it was accompanied. In a few 
hours we had the satisfaction of hearing the poor fel- 
low utter a few faint words of thankfuhiess, and we 
left him with the assurance on tJie part of tlie youno- 
surgeon, that he was out of immediate danger. 

But it is time that I should give some account of 
the dispute which had led to this unfortunate affray. 
It appears that, during the preceding week, several 
differences and quarrels had arisen between the Irish 
labourers and the Portuguese boatman, which had 
more than once terminated in blows. The latter are 
generally men of a vindictive disposition ; and being 
somewhat afraid of attacking the whole body of Irish 
quartered in the convent, they had cunningly deferred 
their revenge until three-fourths of their opponents 
were re-embarked ; and just as the last division were 
stepping into the boat to join their companions, a party 
of these fellows, who had armed themselves with va- 
rious weapons employed in their craft, picked a quar- 
yel with them, and being very superior in number, 
achieved an easy victory. During the whole evening 
the consul and the local authorities were investigating 
and inquiring into the merits of the case ; but, as 
usual, both parties were equally in the wrong, and it 
was impossible to decide by whom the first blow bad 
been struck, or the first provocation given. 

In the mean time, the news of the row having reach- 
ed the Waverly, a great sensation was created on board. 
The Paddies declared their determination to come on 
shore and revenge their countrymen ; a threat which 
they certainly would have executed, had not the cap- 
tain given strict orders that no boat should leave the 
ship under any pretence whatever. In spite of this or- 
der, one fellow was so bent upon trying his shillelagh 
on a Portuguese head, that he actually let himself down 
into the sea with an intention of swimming ashore ; but 
being discovered, was with difficulty compelled to re- 

On the following morning the wounded man had 
made some progress towards recovery, but he was still 
too feeble to be transported on board, and the departure 


of the Waverley was accordingly deferred. The blows 
and injuries received by the other Irish (although in 
some cases very severe and disfiguring) were not such 
as to cause any apprehension for their safety ; but it 
was necessary to watch the ship closely, in order to 
prevent another collision between the hostile parties. 

I do not believe that these Portuguese islanders are a 
brave or determined race of men, but if they consider 
themselves aggrieved or injured, they are not very scru- 
pulous about the mode of taking revenge. An incident 
which occurred to myself will serve to ihustrate this 
point. I was walking down the street in company with 
a young lady, and when passing the door of a shop, a 
dog sprang from it, and barking very fiercely, was about 
to seize my companion. I placed myself between her 
and her assailant ; and, fortunately having a very strong 
thick stick in my hand, I met his attack with a blow 
which felled him to the ground. The owner came out 
of the shop apparently in a furious passion ; he storm- 
ed, and swore, and threatened, with so much rapidity^ 
that he soon went beyond my small stock of Portuguese 
(of which language I had now acquired a slight know- 
ledge). However, as he did not seem to wish to come 
within reach of the stick which had so rudely received 
his dog, the tongue was the only weapon of offence he 
employed. A number of people now collected round 
the shop door : and not wishing to embroil myself, much 
less my companion, in a street squabble, we pursued our 
way towards the American consul's. 

At the time I thought no more of the matter ; but 
two days afterwards as I was passing the same spot, a 
shopkeeper who lived opposite to the man whose dog I 
had struck, beckoned me into his house. As he spoke 
a few words of English, he soon made me understand 
that his opposite neighbour was a man of a very mali- 
cious disposition ; that the dog had been either killed 
by the blow, or so much hurt that they had since been 
obliged to destroy it ; and that he had more than once 
expressed his determination to have my life if ever he 
could find me out of doors after it was dark. My infor- 
mant strongly urged the propriety of my remaining at 



home for he was sure the fellow would fulfil his pro- 
mise. ' I thanked him for his warning ; but thmkmg it 
most likely that this threatening talker was not so for- 
midable a person as his nei2;hbour believed him to be, 
I asked my new friend if he would go over with me and 
faithfully translate the expressions I should use, promi- 
sino- at the same time that they should not be offensive, 
or luch as to provoke an affray. He agreed to do so ; 
and crossing the street, we entered the man's shop. 

As soon as he saw me, he appeared very much sur^ 
prised, and I desired mv interpreter to inquire of him 
whether it was true that he had more than once said, he 
would have my life if he found me in the street after 
dark ? He seemed a little confused, but answered 
stoutlv that "He had said it, and he meant it ;" to which 
I answered that it was quite fair, and that I would be 
equally frank with him. I then stated that I always 
carried a brace of pistols about my person, and as he 
had now declared his intentions, I added that if ever 1 
fell in with him, or saw him abroad after dusk, I should 
immediately shoot him. So I took off my hat, and nja- 
kino- him a'low bow left his shop. It is needless to add, 
that^my idle threat answered the intended purpose ; for 
I never carried pistols or any other defensive weapon, 
nor heard any thing more of the valiant proprietor of 

the dog. . , , . , • 

But to return from this digression ; the doctor having 
nowdeciaredthat Dennis might be moved on boardwith 
the others, we embarked on the 13th, parting with sm^ 
cere and, I believe, mutual regret, from those on whose 
hospitable kindness we had been so unexpectedly 
thrown. I had been domesticated in the house of the 
British consul, and the constant aim of himself and his 
amiable family was to contribute every thing in their 
power to my comfort ; so well did they succeed, that 1 
almost felt in leaving them that I was leaving a home. 
The whole party on board were silent and melancholy 
and few words were interchanged, while the black rocks, 
the white-washed houses, and verdant hills of Fayal^ 
gradually faded in the distance. 



A dead calm. — Scant Allowance of Provision during the Voyage. — A 
Whale shot. — Anchor off Sandy Hook. — The Quarantine Station. 
— View in the Narrows. — Variety of Shippirjg. — Quarantine Hospi- 
tals. — New York. — Iced Punch — Land at New York. — An Ameri- 
can Table d' hute. — Oppressive Heat. — Episcopalian Church. — Cos- 
tume of American Ladies. — Visit to Rockaway. — American Omnibus. 
— Desolate Marsh — Reception by Sir C. Vaughan. — Rockaway. — Mint 
Julep. — The celebrated Compounder of this JN^ectar. 

I WILL not detain the reader by a detailed account of 
our voyage from the Azores to New York. It was te- 
dious and unlucky to an unusual degree. After pas- 
sing Flores and Corvo, (the two westernmost of the 
Azores,) we never once squared the yards until we ar- 
rived within thirty miles of New York. "We had a con- 
tinued succession of baffling head winds and dead 
calms ; during the latter, we lay for many days together 
in the midst of the Mexican Gulf stream, under a sun 
of burning heat, unrefreshed by a breath of air. and with 
no other amusement than to watch the sails idly flap- 
ping against the mast, and gambols of the dolphins, black 
fish, and other tenants of the western main. 

The average voyage from Fayal to New York being 
estimated at sixteen days, the captain justly considered 
himself sufficiently provided when he had taken in sup- 
plies for twenty-six ; indeed, in respect to some articles, 
such as fowls sheep, (fee. I believe our provisions had 
exhausted the whole island market. When we had 
been a month at sea, of course we were reduced to a 
somewhat scant allowance, and to other annoyances 
was added the failure of our stock of oranges, of which 
we had laid in a great many chests, and which we con- 
sidered a luxury preferable to wine or any other refresh- 

The only incident worthy of mention which occur- 
red during this tedious voyage, was one which I should 


be afraid to relate, had it not been witnessed by a 
whole ship's company. 

On the evening of the 22d June, several whales were 
playing round the ship. I was on deck with my dou- 
ble-barrelled rifle, and was talking near the bows of the 
ship with an old sailor who Jiad served many years on 
board a whaler. As one of the whales came up above 
the water, not more than thirty or forty yards distant, 
he directed me to aim about three feet behind the head, 
and rather low in the body ; I obeyed his instructions, 
and lodged both the balls within a few inches of each 
other in the part he had pointed out. They pierced the 
thick coat of blubber, and both probably entered the 
heart ; for after a few convulsive struggles, which dis- 
coloured the water with blood and fat for many yards 
around, the unfortunate whale turned upon his back, 
and ere he had floated past the stern of the ship was per- 
fectly dead. We had no tackle on board proper for 
heaving him up, and the evening being too far advan- 
ced to permit the captain to lower his boats, no advan- 
tage could be derived from this accidental shot, which 
might otherwise have furnished us with several barrels 
of oil. I had, on several other occasions, struck the 
whales and black fish which played round the ship, 
with balls from the same rifle, but without any other 
apparent effect than making them lash the water with 
their tail and go down for a few seconds, after which 
they appeared again on the surface, pursuing their pas» 
time as if nothing had occurred to disturb it. 

On the 26th of July, havmg been at sea six weeks, 
dieted for the last ten days upon mouldy biscuit, salt 
junk, and a very short allowance of very foul offensive 
water, we hailed with no little satisfticticn, the cry of 
" land a-head." This first point of the American con- 
tinent which met our view, proved to be the high land 
of New Jersey ; and on the following morning, we 
came to anchor off" Sandy Hook. 

On the morning of the 28th we beat up the Narrows 
to the quarantine station on Staten Island, where our 
ship was subjected to two days' quarantine. There 
being no sickness on board, the cabin passengers were 


allowed by a medical certificate to go on shore ; but 
this permission was not extended to any of the steerage 
passengers or to the baggage. 

The view on sailing up the Narrows is very beauti- 
ful. The coast of Staten Island on one side and Long 
Island on the other, is undulating and well wooded. — 
The bay stretching across from the station to New York 
is extensive and admirably adapted to shipping. I was 
particularly struck by the cleanly and graceful rigging 
of the various vessels which were crossing it in all di- 
rections. Here was to be seen the majestic China-man 
floating gently down under a crowd of canvass before 
the light breeze. There the Baltimore clipping brig 
with her sharp bows, her low hullj and raking masts. — 
Nearer to the shore might be seen " creeping like snail'' 
the coasting timber-craft, and in mid-channel the gor- 
geous steamer with her painted bulwarks and crowded 
decks, passing her lazy competitors with insulting speed. 
Amidst all these, news' boats, and pilot boats, and other 
light shallops, were darting about from ship to ship to 
" welcome the coming and speed the parting friend." 

All this gave life and animation to the scene, enhan- 
cing its natural beauty ; but in spite of ail these advan- 
tages, and of its incomparable superiority in space and 
magnificence as a harbour, I cannot help thinking that 
the descriptions given of this bay by some travellers, 
have been too highly coloured ; for there is nothing 
bold or striking on either shore, and the eye feels the 
absence of a distant outline on which it may rest, such 
as is formed by the Alpine and irregular chain of moun- 
tains which fill the back ground of the landscape, in 
sailing up the Firth of Clyde. The quarantine hospi- 
tals are lofty and spacious buildings, situated on a slo- 
ping bank overlooking the bay, and sheltered by a wood. 
They are whitewashed ; and all the windows being 
furnished with green Venetian blinds, give an appear- 
ance of comfort and cleanliness, which is well main- 
tained by their admirable internal arrangements. 

My first desire on landing was to procure a glass of 
fresh water, a luxury so long unknown. On applying 
for some cool draught, a glass of excellent iced punch 


was put into my hands. Two goblets of this delicious 
beverage did I quaff, when the intense heat of the wea- 
ther, and the quarantine hospital immediately opposite 
to me, conjured up before my eyes the spectre of cho- 
lera, and a call for the third died upon my lips. 

In forty minutes we had crossed the bay, and landed 
at New York, near the battery ; a sort of round wooden 
building, with an adjacent garden, which appears to 
answer the purpose of a kind of Marine Yauxhall. — 
Here we hired a hack, (for so is a New York hackney 
coach denominated,) and drove to the American hotel, 
a distance of about three quarters of a mile. On arri- 
ving we inquired the coachman's charge, and found that 
here, as elsewhere, a stranger runs considerable risk of 
submitting to an operation which passes in England by 
the various names of" being done." " screwed,-' " taken 
in," "sold," " fleeced," &c. In America the appropriate 
phrase is " shaved;" and the fare due being three shil- 
lings, our Jehu modestly required only three dollars. — 
After some dispute we gave him two and a half; and 
as he went away, one would have thought, from the ex- 
pression of his face that we had cheated him, although 
the fellow had received more than five shillings above 
his fare. 

In justice to America I must subjoin two observa- 
tions : first, that this class of street plunderer is common 
to every city in Europe ; and, secondly, that the indivi- 
dual in question was evidently from that " first gem of 
the sea" whose sons perform the greater portion of labo- 
rious and domestic service throughout the Transatlan- 
tic cities. 

At five o'clock I dined for the first time at an Ameri- 
can table dlibte^ and I certainly never saw, at any hotel 
in Europe, a dinner for so large a party served in bet- 
ter style, or with less confusion. The dishes were very 
numerous, and the cookery respectable. I observed also 
that the knives, glasses, plates, &c. were remarkably 
clean, the table-cloth of the finest quality, and that ice 
was applied in a profusion not less unexpected than 
agreeable to the water, salad, cucumber, butter, &c. 

In answer to my inquiries, 1 learnt from one of my 


neighbours that this was called the ladie's ordinary, 
being attended by the famiHes resident in the house, 
and that the usual public table cV hote was daily at 
two o'clock, so that if I chose to attend it, I should 
witness a very different scene from the well-conducted 
table now before me. I certainly remarked that there 
was less conv^ersation than at a German table dlibte, 
perhaps even less than at an English public table ; 
and although the dinner was a ceremony quickly des- 
patched there was neither haste nor scrambling, such 
as travellers are led to expect.* 

The heat of the weather was intense to a degree of 
which I had never formed any idea. In the evening 
I strove in vain to find a cool breath of air among the 
trees in the park, or in the streets ; I retired to my 
own room, threw off my clothes, and opened the win- 
dows, all to no purpose ; I could neither sit, nor walk, 
nor lie still, without continual perspiration so profuse that 
I really felt as if nature could not endure it for many 
hours. This state of oppression will cause little sur- 
prise when I inform the reader that in a thorough 
draft of open air, at eleven o'clock at night, the ther- 
mometer stood at 98^ of Fahrenheit, a height which I 
am told it rarely attains under similiar circumstances 
in the most sultry regions in British India. 

* It must not be supposed that the foregoing account is intended to 
impugn the accuracy of the statements which have been so often laid be- 
fore the pubhc, of the greedy haste and confusion which are usually ob- 
servable at American tavern dinners : on the contrary, these are deserving 
of all the strong animadversions which have been bestowed upon them. — 
I should probably be accused of entertaining the prejudices universally at- 
tributed to British travellers in the United States, if I were to express my- 
self in terms only half as strong as those contained in th^e subjoined ex- 
tract from the National lutelligencer, published at Washington, Nov. 20, 
1836. — " Several persons have died in New York lately, by being choked 
with edibles, at their meals. This is the result of the bolting system, which 
is so generally adopted among our people. We wonder that disasters of 
this kind are not more frequent than they are. A practice so pernicious 
and so detrimental to health as quick eating — to say nothing of its positive 
danger — does not exist in the country. At the table d'hote of an inn, 
where great numbers convene together, the process of bolting would seem 
to be done by steam, and those who perform it jaw-moving automata. — 
They sit down and rise up simultaneously, accompanied by the quick-time 
music of knives and forks, sallying forth on the instant to use their quills, 
and smoke their segars at leisure. The habit is a bad one.^* 


On the morning of Sunday the 27th, I went to the 
episcopaUan church of St. Paul, in the Broadway. 
Tlie service there performed was slightly altered from 
the English liturgy : some of the alterations are of 
course necessary, others (such as the curtailing or 
omitting frequent repetitions) appeared to me judicious, 
and few, if any, can he censured as departing either 
in spirit or in tone from the pure model on which they 
are formed. There was nothing either in the music 
or in the sermon, to distinguish them from the average 
of our own churches. 

In spite of the extreme heat, I contrived to lounge 
for half an hour in Broadway, to observe the crowd 
passing to and from the different places of worship. 
The dress of the ladies partook generally rather of 
French than of English costume ; and the number of 
pretty faces and sm.all delicate feet that passed me in 
that short walk, led me to believe that the encomiums 
which I had so frequently read upon American beauty 
were not undeserved.* 

Having ascertained that the British minister. Sir C. 
Vaughan, was at Rockway, (a bathing-place at about 
twenty miles from New York,) I proceeded thither in 
a kind of light omnibus, or stage. I could not help 
being struck by an amusing commentary on the vanity 
with which travellers charge the Americans, which 
was furnished by the Marine stage. On both sides of 
the vehicle there was a painting of a splendid Grecian 
building, surmounted by a lofty cupola, and having in 
its front a lawn covered with shrubs, cypresses, (fee. 
all of which was meant to represent the place of our 

+ From reading Captain Hamilton's "Men and Manners in America," (a 
work of which 1 acknowledge the ability, while 1 dissent from many of the 
author's views,) I had been led to expect great annoyance and inconve- 
nience in landing my baggage from the ship ; I was therefore agreeably 
surprised when I found that the search was less strict than that made at 
the custom-house in Liverpool ; neither oath nor affidavit was required of 
me ; my servant brought all my baggage easily ashore, and I never saw the 
functionary whose proceedings seem so much to have irritated Captain 
Hamilton. (Vide "Men and Manners in America," vol. i. page 15.) — 
The talented author of that work wrote it with the avowed intention of ab- 
juring all prejudice, and doubtless helieved that he was altogether impartial, 
the reader may judge by comparing page 20 of the same volume, 


destination. On arriving, I found a large square wooden 
house, with a colonnade of wooden pillars ; but no 
cupola, lawn, or trees, were to be seen ! Upon inquir- 
ing the meaning of this, I was informed that the pic- 
ture represented what they intended the house to be 
either this or the following season. 

For the first twelve or fourteen miles, the country- 
through which we passed was enclosed and neatly 
cultivated ; but as it approaches Rockaway, the road 
leads over a wide swamp or marsh, the desolate barren- 
ness of which I was unable justly to appreciate, being 
engaged in a vain, but unceasing conflict with the 
musquitoes, which were in endless swarms, and which 
•effectually withdrew my attention from the scene 

On arriving, I found my friend. Sir C. Yaughan, at 
tea, in a large room where there were a hundred 
persons at table. When I appeared beside his chair, 
and called him by name, he looked quite bewildered, 
and seemed somewhat inclined to doubt the evidence 
of his senses ; for, having known that I had embarked 
nearly four months before, and having heard that our 
ship had been lost, he thought me drowned. Yery 
few minutes, however, explained how matters stood ; 
and it was with no small pleasure that I found myself 
seated by a neighbour, with whom I could enjoy the 
double gratification of talking over subjects of mutual 
interest at home, and of acquiring information and 
introductions calculated to be useful during my resi- 
dence in the United States. 

Rockaway consists of a few scattered boarding-houses 
and the marine hotel, the interior of which is more 
spacious and comfortable than I was led to believe 
from its external appearance ; the sea-beach is admira- 
bly adapted for bathing, and the place may be said to 
bear the same relation to New York, that Brighton 
bears to London, excepting that it is, in comparison, 
more limited in its extent. 

I spent two or three days liere very agreeably, being 
at once introduced to many members of the best so- 
ciety from all parts of the Union. During the morning 


we strolled on the shore, bathed, rode, or drove about 
in light carriages, which the active horses of this country 
draw at a speed truly surprising : the evenings were 
passed in music or dancing ; and after the ladies re- 
tired, I joined some of the younger men of the party, 
in smoking a cigar under the verandah, fanned by the 
cool night breeze from the sea, and making my first 
acquaintance with a beverage approaching more nearly 
to nectar than any that I had ev^er tasted or imagined. 
The American reader will at once know how to apply 
this panegyric ; but how shall I attempt to convey to 
English senses all thy fragrant merits ? divine mint 
julep ! This delicious compound (which is sometimes 
in the southern and western states denominated " hail- 
storm") is usually made with wine, (madeira or claret,) 
mingled in a tumbler with a soupcon of French brandy, 
lime, and lemon, ice pulverised by attrition, and a 
small portion of sugar, the whole being crowned with 
a bunch of fresh mint, through vv^hich the liquor per- 
colates before it reaches the drinker's lips and " laps 
him in Elysium." This beverage is supposed to be 
of southern origin, and the methods of preparing it 
vary in the difierent states ; some Carohnians will 
assert that it can only be found in perfection at Charles- 
ton ; but I believe, that by common consent, the 
immortal Willard (who kept the bar of the city hotel 
in New York for many years) was allowed to be the 
first master of this art in the known world. The name 
of this remarkable personage is familiar to every Ameri- 
can, and to every foreigner who has visited the States 
during the last thirty years ; I have heard many cal- 
culations of the number of mint juleps that he has been 
known to compound i]i one day, and of the immense 
profits resultins: to the hotel from his celebrity ; but 
not having written them down at the moment, I will 
not venture on a vague statement here. His memory 
was yet more surprising than skill at concoction ; of 
the hundreds and thousands who went in to enjoy 
practical demonstration of the latter, he never forgot a 
face, or a name if once mentioned ; even although the 
individual were absent for years, he could at once 


address him as though he had been introduced but 

But I must return from this digression to New York, 
whither I accompanied the minister and my other 
friends after this short but agreeable visit to Rocka- 


Expedition up the Hudson River. — Scene of the Death of Hamilton. — 
Cooper, the American Novelist. — Scenery of West Point. — Nursery 
for the American Army. — 'I'he Cadets. — Albany. — The Patroon. — 
Railroad to Saratoga. — Watering Places. — Mineral Water. — Ballston. — 
The Trenton Falls. — An Extra Exclusive. — The Prison at Auburn. — 
miserable Appearance of the Prisoners. — Geneva. — Canandaigua.— 
Eminent Scottish Agriculturist. — Genesee. — Mr. W. — Fertile Mea- 
dows. — Falls of Niagara. 

After spending a few days at New- York, I started, 
in company with a friend belonging to the British 
Legation, on the expedition up the Hudson river, to 
which I had so long looked forward with eager expec- 
tation, and found myself embarked in the steam-boat 
Albany, on Monday the 12th of August. The morn- 
ing was thick and misty, and the rain fell in torrents, 
so that I feared it would be impossible to see either 
bank of this magnificent river. However, the fog gra- 
dually rose, and I could then discern a succession of 
pretty villas, lawns, and woods, not unlike, in some 
respects, those that crown the royal-towered Thames, 
I could scarcely distinguisii the spot pointed out to me 
as the scene of the death of the illustrious Hamilton 
who fell in a duel with Colonel Burr, and whose 
monument is now in the cemetery of Trinity Church, 
New York, where his remains sleep lionoured by the 
well-deserved praises bestowed upon him as " The 
patriot of incorruptible integrity, the soldier of appro- 


ved valour, and the statesman of consummate wis- 

About twelve or thirteen miles from New York, I 
had great pleasure in finding among the passenorers 
Mr. Cooper the American novelist, to wlionii had been 
introduced by Mr. Rogers some years ago in London, 
and who was now on his way to his native place, 
Cooperstown. He was kind enough to point out the 
scenes of the unfortunate Andre's execution, and the 
treacherous Arnold's escape, and to communicate seve- 
ral interesting particulars relative to that transaction, 
as well as to other events during the war. I was sorry 
that my disembarkation at West Point deprived me of 
the advantage of so able and agreeable a commentator 
on the scenery of the Hudson.* 

On landing at West Point, and climbing the hill on 
the summit of which stands the hotel, (which, by the 
by, is one of the best and most comfortable I have yet 
seen,) I was astonished and delighted at the varied 
beauty of the scenery. The promontory projects into 
the Huson, whose ample stream is perpetually crowded 
with vessels of every description. The surrounding 
mountains are wooded to their very tops. The small 
plain is covered with the white tents of the cadets, 
who are in camp during this season ; and above it rise 
the ruins of Fort Putnam, built upon rocks six hun- 
dred feet high, and well calculated, from its command- 
ing position, and association with the history of the 
war, to inspire the young soldiers with an enthusiastic 
love for the glorious and beautiful scene of their fath- 
ers' triumphs. 

It is well known that this is the nursery for the 
American army. The cadets are about two-hundred 
in number ; and from them the troops are chiefly, if 
not altogether officered. In the winter they live in 

* Let not the reader imagine that I underrate the beauty of the scenery 
through which this noble river flows. It deserves all the praises bestowed 
upon it by other travellers ; but the rain and mist which enveloped it 
during this excursion prevented me from enjoying its charms ; and though 
I ascended this river a dozen times at a latter date, I have thought it bet- 
ter to leave this part of my journal as it originally stood. 


the barracks, and pursue the theoretic branches of 
their professional studies ; while durino^ the summer 
months, they bivouac in tents, each of which contains 
three cadets, and they spend all their time in various 
military manoeuvres. The discipline seems strict, and 
the regulations for maintaining order and temperance 
very severe. They seem to have no punishment but 

To the cursory observation of an unprofessional 
traveller, several branches of the system appear capa- 
ble of improvement. In the first place, each cadet must 
remain his full term of four years (generally from six- 
teen to twenty), whether he be quick and industrious, 
or dull and idle, the only difference being that on final 
examination the latter will be dismissed as incompe- 
tent, while the former will probably obtain the first 
vacant commission. It would certainly appear, that 
the mode adopted by the British Naval College at 
Portsmouth, of allowing a young man to shorten his 
time and distinguish his character, by industry and 
ability, is preferable. In the second place, it is difiicult 
to see why four or five of the months should be spent 
altogether in drills and manoeuvres to the total exclu- 
sion of all the studies pursued in the winter. 

I spoke to two or three of the cadets, and they in- 
formed me, that during the encampment they seldom 
opened a book ; and from what I observed of the list- 
less languid sauntering of the whole mass after drill 
and parade, I do not question the accuracy of their 
statement. Doubtless the manual and practical exer- 
cises are very fatiguing, but it is very certain that 
such a quantum of bodily labour as totally incapaci- 
tates a young man's mind for moderate study, must be 
fatal to the professional advancement of an officer, 
even if it be requisite for the mechanical proficiency 
of a private, which I very much doubt. There seemed 
to be no running, leaping, playing at quoits, cricket, 
nor any other amusement ; and altogether I could not 
help remarking the want of that blithe, frank, joyous 
expression of countenance that is observable in youths 
of the same age in England. They were generally 


grave and reserved ; and I certainly did not see in the 
whole corps one single face or figure that could be 
pronounced strikingly handsome ; and this is the 
more remarkable, as their mothers and sisters are 
certainly in as high an average of beauty as any 
women in the world. I should add, however, that I 
gathered my information respecting this establishment 
from conversation with some of the cadets, and not 
from the officers or authorities, whose acquaintance I 
had not time nor opportunity to cultivate. 

After leaving West Point, we pursued our way in 
the steam boat up the Hudson as far as Albany, passing 
through beautiful scenery, leaving on our right Hyde 
Park, and a number of prettily wooded villas, and on. 
our left the Catskill mountains. Albany, the capital 
of New York, it is one of the oldest settlements in the 
United States ; I beheve the fi.rst in the upper states, 
having been settled in 1612. It is a busy and prospe- 
rous town ; and as it forms the termination both of 
the Erie canal, and of the Hudson and Mohawk rail- 
road, is a place of much commercial activity. ,, The 
population is estimated at twenty-eight thousand, and 
this city may be pronounced the greatest emporium of 
internal trade in the United States. Estimates taken 
last year (1833) and based upon accurate calculations, 
compute the value of goods brought into it through the 
Erie and Champlain canals, at two millions and a half 

The capitol, and several other public buildings 
appeared worthy of notice, but 1 had not time to visit 
them on this occasion. The principal proprietor in 
the neighbourhood is General Stephen Van Rensselaer, 
better known by the appellation of the Patroon, who is 
mentioned in the books of all American travellers as 
one of the largest landholders in the Slates. I had the 
pleasure of being introduced to this respectable and 
venerable old gentleman at Saratoga. 

After leaving Albany we proceeded by the railroad 
through Schenectady to Saratoga. This line of rail- 
road is admirably contrived to answer all the purposes 
of speed, safety, and economy ; although the first of 


these qualities, it is not to be compared with the 
Liverpool and Manchester line. The soil appears 
priticipally sand ; and, except in one or two instances, 
I should not conceive the formation of the railroad to 
have been attended with much difficulty. 

AVe were rather unfortunate as to the time at which 
we visited Saratoo^a — the Cheltenham of the States, as 
most of the parties whom we had calculated upon 
meeting there, had left it the day before we arrived, 
and there were few " fashionables" remaining. In fact, 
it is the fashion to make the round of all the watering- 
places, (Rockaway, Saratoga, Ballston, Lebanon,) in 
reo-ular succession, and an unfortunate traveller who 
happens, as we did, to be rather late in starting, may 
follow the gay route, and never catch its most agree- 
able parties. 

The Congress Spring at Saratoga is, I believe, one 
of the most medicinal natural waters in tiie world ; 
and the cures that it is said to have performed are 
numerous and extraordinary. It is delightfully cool, 
and not unpleasant to the taste ; but if taken v/ithout due 
care and attention, it produces violent headache, and 
sometimes more serious consequences. 

After spending a day or two at Saratoga, I returned 
to Ballston, which is a very pleasant viUage and also 
a place of great resort, from the excellence of its min- 
eral springs, which are supposed to possess more tonic 
qualities than those at Saratoga ; from thence '^^r Sche- 
nectady to the Trenton Falls, through a cultivated aiiu 
well-wooded country, and passing some of the exten- 
sive property of Sir Frederic Johnston. I had heard 
so much of these Falls, that I own I was much disap- 
pointed in visiting them. The scenery of this country 
is upon so magnificent a scale, and its rivers so vast 
and deep, that I expected to see torrents and waterfalls, 
such as I had never before beheld. The scenery is 
certainly very pretty; the banks are richly clothed 
with wood, and the fall of water is considerable enough 
to arrest and please the eye ; but unless my memory 
very much deceives me, these Falls would gain noth- 
ing by comparison with the Falls of Fyers, Bruar, and 


Others that I have seen in the highlands of Scotland 
(if the latter are visited after a rainy season). The 
limestone rocks over which they run are certainly bold 
and precipitous, but the eye (at least the eye of a 
Scotchman) misses sadly the brown heather, the 
frowning precipice with its weeping birch and scathed 
and gnarled fir, and, above all, the blue and distant 
mountain ridge that completes and perfects the pic- 

After being jolted some fifteen miles over an execra- 
ble road in an '• extra-exclusive,"* we arrived at Utica, 
whence we proceeded to Auburn ; — a village the name 
of which is interesting to all Europe from its being 
the seat of the rsew York State's prison. This cele- 
brated establishment is now so familiar to every Euro- 
pean reader, that a detailed description of it is un- 
necessary, and I shall confine myself to such observa- 
tions as naturally suggested themselves to me on visit- 
ing it. 

The mass- of building is solid and imposing, and al- 
together well suited to the gloomy character of the 
place ; biu its effect is totally destroyed by an absurd 
nondescript set of pinnacles on the top of the building, 
in the midst of which is a representation of a sentinel 
witli a musket. Whether he is meant as a scare-crow 
to the prisoners or not, I cannot tell ; but I am sure 
that he and the litter of pinnacles around him are a 

grievom^annoyance to the eye. 

As tar as I am able to judge, the published accounts 
of the discipline and arrangements are substantially 
correct. I walked through all the shops in which the 
prisoners, were at labour ; and I must say that so mis- 
erable, jaded, desponding a row of faces I never be- 
held — such sunken lacklustre eyes I never encoun- 
tered. I made careful observation on all that I saw, 
and cannot help praising the cleanliness, order, and 
regularity of the whole arrangement ; but my visit did 
not incline me to believe, that the moral object which 
this institution has in view, was attained or even 

* A private carriage hired by an individual or a party is here so called. 


approached. However, as my mind had been rarely- 
directed to this subject, and was not familiar with its 
details, I beg to offer the above remarks as those of a 
passing observer, and to disclaim all pretension to a 
critical opinion regarding it. 

From Auburn we took saddle-horses, and rode to 
Geneva, a beautifully situated town on Seneca lake ; 
thence througli a country bearing^ marks of improved 
cultivation and prosperous condition, to Canandaigua, 
passing over the fine lake Cayuga on a wooden bridge, 
the length of which I conceive to be nearly a mile and 
a half, built on piles. Nothing can be more neat and 
comfortable-lookinof than the villao^e of Canandais^ua ; 
it is composed of one long street, which is, indeed, a 
series of villas, each house being shaded by walnut, 
hickory, and other forest trees. 

Having letters of introduction to Mr. G , an 

eminent Scottish agriculturist, and my companion being 
acquainted with Mr. D , another Scottish gentle- 
man settled here, we found ourselves soon in the en- 
joyment of every comfort that the most kind and con- 
siderate hospitality could offer. Mr. G was one 

of the earliest settlers in this part of the country, and 
by unwearied perseverence, consummate ability, and 
unsullied integrity, has raised himself in this district 
to an eminence, both in fortune and character, that 
may be pronounced enviable. Indeed it was with 
mingled feelings of astonishment, pleasure, and nation- 
al pride, that I saw this excellent man doing the hon- 
ours of his table, in a house that might vie in comfort 
and luxury with any of the villas near London, and 
looking from its roof over a vast plain of corn, fruit- 
trees, and gardens, on which, when he first came to 
the country, the impervious forest grew, the red man 
and the deer wandered. 

We spent two or three days here most agreeably, 
and I derived much useful information from conversa- 
tion with Mr. G respecting the method pursued in 

surveying, clearing, selling, and otherwise managing 
the tracts of land disposed of in this country. 

From Canandaigua, which I left with much reluc- 


tance, we passed through a thriving and well cultiva- 
ted country to Geneseo, where I had the pleasure of 
being introduced to Mr. W , the owner of a mag- 
nificent estate in tiie Genesee flats. Fortune seemed 
not yet wearied of being bountiful, and allowed us to see 
this most beautiful valley, with tlie advantage of residing 
in one of the most hospitable and agreeable houses that 

leverentered. Mr.W 's son accompanied us through 

his extensive farms, which are formed to delight equally 
the eye of a Poussin or a Sir J. Sinclair. The broad mea- 
dowsofan alluvial soil, covered with the richest g^rasses, 
as watered by the winding Genesee, are studded with 
trees, beautifully and negligently grouped, among which 
are scattered laro^e herds of cattle of various breeds and 
kinds, both English and American ; the meadows are here 
and there interspersed with fields of Indian corn and 
wheat, while the hills that rise on each side are crowned 
with timber, exceptingspotswhere the encroaching hand 
of improvement has begun to girdle some of the tall 
sons of the forest, whose scathed tops and black bare 
arms, betokening their approaching fall, give a pic- 
turesque variety to the scene. 

Yet this scene, extraordinary and interesting as td 
was, possessed less intei;est to a contemplative an 
musing mind, than the venerable and excellent gen- 
tleman who had almost created it ; for it was now 

forty-four years since Mr. W came as the the first 

settler to this spot, with an axe on his shoulder, and 
slept the first night under a tree. After this, he lodg- 
ed in a log-house ; subsequently in a cottage ; and he 
is now the universally esteemed and respected posses- 
sor of a demesne, which many of the proudest nobility 
of Europe might look upon with envy, where he 
exercises the rites of hospitality, in the midst of his 
amiable family, with a sincerity and kindness that I 
shall not easily forget. 

As I wished to see the country, and to travel more 
at leisure than the tyrannical customs of a stage-coach 
permit, I bought here a horse and light waggon, in 
which I proceeded to Lockport, a flourishing village 
on the canal, about sixty miles from Geneseo, and 


thence on the following morning" to the Falls of Niag- 

These falls have been so frequently and so well 
described by numerous travellers, that any description 
of them is superfluous in regard to others, and in 
reofard to myself it seems equally unnecessary to record 
upon paper that which is graven on my memory, in 
characters more durable than any that the hand of 
man can trace. Still it is impossible to give a faithful 
transcript of the scenes through which I have passed, 
or of the sensations excited by them, and to omit all 
mention of the most sublime natural spectacle on 
which the eye of man ever dwelt. 

The river Niagara flows from Lake Erie to Ontario^ 
and receives from the former the waters of the St. 
Clair, the Huron, Michigan, and other upper lakes. 
After leaving lake Erie, the Niagara expands to the 
width of about six miles, heaving in its channel two 
large islands called Grand, and Navy Island ; on the 
former of these the Jewish city of Ararat was to have 
been built, according to the project of a Major Noah, 
of New York, in 1825. Below these islands the width 
of the river is about two miles, and soon after leaving 
them the stream begins to descend with great rapidity, 
its declination being above fifty feet in less than a mile. 
In the midst of the white and foaming rapids, formed 
by the descent, is Goat Island, on the western or Cana- 
dian side of which is the Horse-shoe Fall ; on the 
eastern, the American Fall ; the former of which, being 
the principal channel of the river, is about one-third 
of a mile broad, and about one hundred and fifty-eight 
feet high ; the -latter a few feet higher, but of much 
smaller extent. 

On arriving at the Grent Horse-shoe Fall, descrip- 
tion must stop short ; and to those who have not seen 
it, imagination must be left to finish a picture of which 
words can orive but a feeble outline. How can Ian- 
guage convey impressions too tremendous and sublime 
even for the mind to bear? How can it presume to 
embody a scene on which the eye could not gaze, to 
which the ear could not listen, and which the oppres- 


sed and overwhelmed power of reflection could not 
contemplate without feelings of awe, wonder, and 
delightj so intense as to amount almost to pain ! 

Who doth not feel, until his failing sight 
Faints into dimness with its own delight, 
His changing cheek, his sinking heart confess 
The might — the majesty ? 

Bride of Abydos. 

These lines beautiful as they are, and beautifully ap- 
plied by the poet, are no less applicable to the glorious 
Niagara. He who admires and loves the softer fea- 
tures in Nature's countenance should cross in the 
ferry-boat about a quarter of a mile below the falls : 
there, the eye can take them both in at once, the ear 
can bear the hoarse and deep voice of the waters sof- 
tened by distance. The clouds of foam that rise from 
the boiling caldron spring upward in snowy wreaths 
of vapour, and the rocks and woods around are tinged 
with the ever-changing rays of the rainbow. And he 
who admires Nature in her more stern and magnificent 
array, should stand upon the Table Rock. There 
'• Prsesentiorem conspiciet Deum," — there the tremen- 
dous roar will stun his ear — the mingled masses of 
waters and of foam will bewilder his eye — his mind 
will be overwhelmed by contending leelings of eleva- 
tion and depression — and, unless he be colder than 
the very rock on which he stands, the thoughts that 
press upon his brain, will be high, pure, and enthusi- 
astic, and his hot brow will welcome the cool light 
spray that is ever falling around that holy spot. 

Let him whose spirit^delights in the awful sublimity 
of nature, who loves the war of elements, and the 
secret and mysterious paths of darkness, descend from 
the Table Rock, and undeterred by the wind and 
spray that will appear to oppose his entrance, — let him 
walk along a narrow ledge that extends about one 
hundred feet under the great Horse-shoe Fall, and 
there, with his back to the huge beetling rock, above 
him the canopy of rushing waters, before him and all 
around a tempestuous whirlwind of foam, and beneath 


his feet a raging and boiling iinfathomed abyss, — let 
let him meditate on the Httleness of man, and on the 
attributes of Him who metes out tiiose waters in the 
hollow of his hand ! 

There is no object in nature, in which the reflecting, 
the poetic, or the pious mind, will not trace the hand 
of its Divine Author, as well as in the " wee modest 
crimson-tipped" daisy, or the love-torch of the glow- 
worm, as in the ocean, or the starlit sky ; but here the 
dullest spirit must be stirred, the most thoughtless and 
careless, be arrested, the most haughty and daring 
humbled ; he feels like Moses, that "he should put the 
shoes from off his feet;" he feels as if admitted to a 
secret abode and dwelling-place of the Deity, who 
speaks to him there in a terrible whisper. 

When I followed the guide into this stormy recess, 
there was a strong breeze of wind, and the spray was 
was dashed against our faces with such unusual vio- 
lence as to render it almost impossible, upon first en- 
tering, to, keep the eyes open, or to respire : I was so 
excited, that I feel some degree of shame in owning 
I neglected the usual paraphernalia of oilskin coat, 
trousers, &c. and throwing off my walking-jacket, I 
braved the water-monarch in his den with no other 
armour than a stout broad-brimmed hat. However, 
by slouching this civic helmet over my eyes and hold- 
ing my breath, I followed the guide without difiiculty 
to the interior of the rocky chambers where the spray 
and whirlwind are less violent, and where the laculties 
of seeing, hearing, and feeling are restored. 

Upon arriving here I became aware that two young 
American travellers v/hom I had met in my rambles, 
and who, accoutred in a panoply of oilskin, had accom- 
panied me to the entrance below the Falls, were miss- 
ing. Upon informing the guide of the circumstance, 
he was alarmed for their safety, and returned to see 
what had become of them. Thus left alone, I pursued 
the little path or ledge to its farthest extremity, at a 
point called Termination Rock: and, reseating myself, 
regardless of the " peltinor of the pitiless storm," I re- 
velled in the glorious and terrible scene before me 


To describe it further I will not attempt, neither can 
I relate the thoughts that crowded upon me during the 
few minutes that I spent in that awful spot — they 
were too mingled and confused to be defined, or inter- 
esting to any one. The faculties of reason were ab- 
sorbed, and the powers of imagination and memory 
held for a time divided empire. The Atlantic and the 
thousand miles that divided me from home were for- 
gotten, and well-know forms and beloved images were 
mingled in my wild waking dream with the thunder- 
ing rush of waters. 

I know not how long the reverie continued, from 
which I was roused by the return of the guide, who 
informed me that he could not persuade the other two 
travellers to enter the cavern. I went back and used 
every argument to induce them to prosecute the un- 
dertaking in which there was no real danger, but in 
vain : in their first attempt one had lost his balance, 
and the other his breath, and they went away, as the 
old Greek tragedians say, a-r^axToj'.* 

Many travellers, after leaving Niagara, have said 
that, although deeply impressed with its unrivalled 
magnificence, they felt no anxiety to revisit it. Such 
is not the case with me, and if ever Fate permit me 
again to stand upon the Table Rock, the charms of 
novelty and surprise may be wanting, but I shall 

" Hail in each crag a friend's familiar face, 
And clasp the torrent in my mind's embrace," 

* '"Unsuccessful." 



Embark on Lake Ontario, — Toronto. — Reception by the Governor. — 
Lake of The Thousand Islands. — The Cholera at MontrCiil and due- 
bee. — Journey towards Lake Champlain. — Gloomy Road, — Burlinglon. 
— Students in the College of that Town.— An Obliging Landlord. — 
Road to Alontpelier. — The Camel's Hump. — American Liberality. — 
Accommodations at the Taverns. — John Bull a bad Traveller. — Han- 
over. — Concord. — A Criminal Trial in this Town. — Amoskeag. — Ex- 
change of Steeds. — Lowell — its Lucrative Trade. — Approach to Bos- 
ton. — Arrival in that Town. — The Tremont House. — Mr. Webster. — 
Tone of Conversation in Boston. 

On leaving- the Falls, I drove my waggon and horse 
down to Niagara town, and embarked with them in 
the Great Britain ; a magnificent steamboat, which 
plies on Lake Ontario. We arrived in the evening at 
Toronto, late York, the capital of Upper Canada. This 
is a flourishing town, though it has been severely visi- 
ted by the cholera, it contains about ten thousand in- 
habitants ; but as the steam-boat only stayed two hours, 
and during those it was dark, I cannot [speak much 
either of its defects or beauties. 

I spent an hour in conversation with the governor 

Sir J. C , to whom I had a letter of introduction, 

and from whom I met with a most polite reception 
notwithstanding the unseasonable hour (9. p. m.) at 
which I was obhged to intrude upon his hospitality, 
I regretted much that I was unable to avail myself, for 
a longer period, of the opportunity of deriving infor- 
mation respecting Upper Canada from a distinguished 
officer so able and willing to give it. 

From Toronto we sailed down Lake Ontario passing 
Kingston before daylight, to Oswego, a thriving town 
on the American coast ; thence to Ogdcnsburgh, pas- 
sing the opening iuto the St. Lawrence, through the 
Lake of the Thousand Islands. With the scenery of 
the latter I was, I confess, somewhat disappointed; 
perhaps my expectation had been raised too high by 


the descriptions of travellers, and by the splendour of 
the name. The islands are indeed almost innumera- 
ble, and covered with wood ; but there is little variety, 
scarcely any rising ground, even on the banks, and no 
distant outline whatever. The water was beautifully 
smooth and clear — the autumnal tints had begun to 
shed their melancholy (-harm over the foilage, and the 
scene was agreeable and pretty ; but it undoubtedly 
wants many of the elements of beauty that delight the 
eye, in the v/ooded islets that gem the bosom of Loch 

On arriving at Ogdensburgh, my fellow-traveller and 
I determined not to prosecute our journey to Montreal 
and Q,uebec, as the cholera was making serious rava- 
ges in those cities ; and independently of the risk in- 
curred of being attacked by that terrible disease, the ma- 
jority of the higher classes of society had retired to dif- 
ferent parts of the neighbouring country ; we accor- 
dingly du'ected the flight of Hornet (for so was my faith- 
ful steed called) towards Lake Champlain ; and after a 
drive of one hundred and fifty miles, through the most 
wild and uncultivated countiy that I have ever seen, 
we came to Plattsbursfh. 

In the course of this long journey the villages were 
'' like angel visits, few and far between ;" the roads ex- 
ecrable, being made upon the anti-mac-adam corduroy 
system. The miles of gloomy silent forest, apparently 
interminable — the dull monotony of this bosky desert 
— its loneliness unrelieved by the appearance' of any 
living creature, save now and then the shrill cry of the 
woodpecker, and the hissing whisper of the catydid, 
produced a corresponding effect upon our spirits. A 
group of shepherds, collected round a wolf, which they 
had just slain as an expiatory sacrifice to appease the 
manes of eight sheep, devoured by him the precedino- 
night, formed the only banquet in which our appetite 
for interest or incident was permitted to indulge. We 
heard indeed of bears, deer, (fcc. but saw none. 

I do not know from what principle of our nature it 
proceeds, but it is undoubtedly true, that the mind feels 
more oppressed by the unvarying loneliness and silence 


of a vast American forest, than by the barren desolation 
of the wildest moor or plain ; nay, even more thaii by 
the waste of waters in a calm at sea.* Perhaps it may 
be that the spirit is more circLimscribed and confined in 
the former instance, and feels the want of that space and 
extent which, however desolate it may be, it can roam 
over, and people with the undefined and fantastic ob- 
jects of its own creation. Leaving the solution of the 
problem to more speculative heads, we proceed to Lake 
Champlain, which we crossed in a steamer, and landed 
at Burlington, a village on the south eastern side of the 

Of all the places which I have yet visited, this is 
one of the most beautiful and agreeable. The townf 
rises in a gentle slope from the bay, which is a semi- 
circular curve, the extremities of which are fringed 
with wood to the margin of the water. The ground 
about it is undulating and varied, the houses neat, 
and for the most part shaded by hickory and other 
trees, and the view of the lake with its promontories 
and woody islands, bounded by a distant range of blue 
mountains, is as lovely as the eye of a Claude or a 
Poussin could desire. 

Burlington contains about three thousand inhabi- 
tants ; three churches — one Episcopalian, one Pres- 
byterian, and one Unitarian ; and a college, situated 
on an eminence about a quarter of a mile from the 
town, attended by about a hundred students. The 
vacation was just over, and some repairs of the build- 
ing were scarcely complete, so I had little opportunity 
of talking with any of the students, but was informed 
that amonor them were three Germans come thither 

* Of course I allude to an individual travelling without a definite object; 
to an Indian following through the forest the trail of an enemy, or to a 
hunter following that of a bear or deer, these remarks would be totally in- 

f Once for all it is necessary to mention, that in (this part at least of 
the United States, the Americans use the word " low7i' to express what 
is called in England a parish, — and places such as in England would be 
called towns, are by them denominated either villages or cities, under the 
former of these appellations are included many places containing three, 
four, and five thousand inhabitants, and sometimes, I believe, more. ^ 


from Gottingen to study the English language ! Is 
there nothing in this to rouse the attention of Oxford, 
Cambridge, London, Edinburgh, &c. that three young 
men, desirous of learning English, should find it ex- 
pedient (from reasons of economy or other facilities) 
to travel between four and five thousand miles to a 
remote tbwn in the interior of North America ? 

There are three good hotels ; that at which I stayed, 

kept by Mr. T , is very well conducted, and he 

himself is a most intelligent, active, and obligino- land- 
lord ; he is a proprietor of extensive glass-works in the 
lower part of the village. He drove me down in his 
carriage to see them, and I was surprised at the ex- 
cellence and cheapness of the material. The work is 
carried on upon principles differing considerably from 
those observed at the glass- manufactories in Britain, 
and is altogether well worthy of attention. The clay 
used in making the pots is imported from Hamburghj 
none having yet been found in America capable of 
resisting for any length of time the intense heat of the 

From Burlington (my fellow-traveller having pre- 
ceded me in the stage to Boston) T drove through a 
very pretty and picturesque country to Montpelier, the 
capital village of Vermont. The road formed by the 
course of the Union river (pronounced there invaria- 
bly Onion), passes down the valley: the lower meadows 
are rich and fertile, and divided into neat and thriving 
farms ; the sides of the valley are clothed with varied 
copse and forest wood, and over the western side towers 
a lofty mountain, called the Camel's Hump, although 
(as Shakespeare says) the " shepherds gives it a grosser 
name" which answers very well in rhyme to the one 
here given, but is not quite so euphonious to ears po- 
lite. Its height is, I believe, about five thousand feet. 

At Montpelier, I found that hilly, sandy, execrable 
roads, together with the heat of the weather, made the 
journey rather fatiguing for my steed ; and I chose 
him a helpmate in the shape of a little Indian pony, 
which I found in the possession of Mr. C , land- 
lord of the Pavilion Hotel. 


Here I cannot help making a few remarks upon a 
subject on which I think the general opinion in Britain 
is erroneous. We are taught to believe that the Yan- 
key is invariably a suspicious and avaricious man in 
his money transactions, and incapable of those feehngs 
and acts of liberality for which the British character 
is distinguished. I shall mention two instances that 
occurred to me in the space of four days, which showed 
a very diiferent character from that of which the 
New Englanclers are accused. The change in the 
route which the prevalence of the cholera at Montreal 
induced me to adopt, had prevented me from drawing 
any of the money which I intended to get in that city, 
and my finances were, therefore, so much reduced as 
to leave me only just sufficient to take me as far as 
Boston. Upon my mentioning the circumstance to 

Mr. T , my landlord at Burlington, as my reason 

for not making some trifling purchases in that town, 
he at once advanced me fifty dollars, by indorsing my 
draft on New York, and presenting the bill to the Bur- 
lington Bank. 

The second instance which I shall quote was in the 

purchase of the Indian pony. Mr. C of Montpe- 

iier, understanding that it would be inconvenient for 
me to pay his price out of my travelling pocket-money, 
offered at once to accept my draft on New York for 
the sum, in which manner the purchase was made. 
Neither of these gentlemen had ever seen or heard of 
me before, neither of them asked even for a letter of in- 
troduction or other papers to satisfy them as to any 
particulars respecting me ; and with all due and mo- 
dest allowance for my own gentlemanly appearance, I 
very much doubt whether I should have met with the 
same liberal treatment, under similar circumstances, 
at a country town in Yorkshire or Lancashire. 

Another thing I am also bound in candour to say, 
namely, that the descriptions hitherto given by travel- 
lers, of the accommodations at the taverns in the more 
remote parts of the country, have been highly coloured 
to tlieir disadvantage. In travelling for the last fort- 
night with my own horse and waggon, I have stopped 


at three or four different places in the course of each 
day, and have ^^one throuo^h a great portion of the 
most unsettled country in New York, Vermont, and 
New Hamshire : in many instances the taverns have 
been very small ; but I have never had reason to com- 
plain of want of cleanliness, good victuals, or civility. 
I have asked at the most unseasonable hours, both 
early and late, for breakfast, dinner, and supper ; and 
in the course of ten minutes have always been sup- 
plied with a beefsteak, potatoes, bread and cheese, but- 
ter, eggs, and tea or coffee ; the beds have been clean, 
and whenever I asked for two or three towels instead 
of the one placed in the room, they have been furnished 
without any hesitation or extra charge. All that a 
traveller requires is a sufficient knowledge of the world, 
to prevent his mistaking manners for intention ; and a 
sufficient fund of good temper in himself to keep him 
from being irritated by trifles. Upon entering or driving 
up to a tavern, the landlord will sometimes continue 
smoking his pipe without noticing your entrance ; and 
if you ask whether you can have dinner, you may be 
told " dinner is over, but I guess you can have some- 
thing." If you are true John Bull, you will fret and 
sulk ; and silently comparing this with the bustling 
attention and empressement of an English waiter or 
boots, you walk about by yourself, chewing the bitter 
cud of wrath : but if you are a traveller, or formed by 
nature to become one (which John Bull is not), you 
will take this reception as you find it and as the usage 
of the country, and in a few minutes he of the pipe 
will be assisting to arrange your baggage, to dry your 
wet great coat, and a tolerable dinner will be in prepa- 
ration. Such is the state of thino-s in the North, what 
it may be in the South and West, I have yet to learn. 
From Montpelier I drove through a tolerably well- 
cultivated country to Hanover, a pretty town, in which 
is situated Dart ford College ; an extensive clumsy 
building. I was informed that the number of students 
was about one hundred and fifty, besides the medical 
department, which was separate, and consisted of one 
hundred ; but as the weather was very stormy, and it 


was vacation time; I had little inclination or opportu- 
nity to see the lions of Hanover ; accordingly I made 
the best of my way to Concord, the capital of New 
Hampshire, a clean airy town, containing several good 
taverns, and an excellent hotel. 

The village consists principally of the main street, the 
houses of which are generally painted white, and a 
great many of them have gardens and large trees round 
them, which give them a fresh and rural appearance. 

The state of New Hampshire^ of which Concord is 
the capital, contains about the same population as Ver- 
mont, and both send five members to Congress. Du- 
ring my excursion, the political feelings in both states 
ran rather high, and seemed pretty equally divided on 
the Bank question, at this time the general subject of 
divided opinion ; but I thought the majority of the in- 
habitants of both these states more favourable to the ex- 
isting government than those of New York. 

Before arriving at Concord, I passed a Shaker vil- 
lage ; but as it was not on a Sunday, I could not see 
any of the peculiarities of their worship. The rain, 
which fell in torrents, prevented me from paying atten- 
tion to other circumstances which might have been 
worthy of notice. 

At Concord I found the court of Common Pleas sitting: 
the case appeared, from the numbers that flocked into 
the town, to create much interest, and upon inquiry I 
found that a man was upon his trial for murdering a 
woman under most horrible and aggravated circum- 
stances. They were briefly as follows : — 

A young man of about seventeen or eighteen years of 
age, lived as farm-servant in a respectable family near 
Concord, the mistress of which was an amiable, and 
beautiful young woman. She asked her husband one 
evening to go to the garden and gather some strawberries 
with her ; he happened to be reading an interesting 
book and declined, and she went accompanied by this 
lad. On arriving there, he made a brutal attack upon 
her ; and unable to effect his purpose, murdered her by 
beating her brains out with a stake. The unfortunate 
woman appears to have made a protracted resistance, 


as the grass around the spot was covered with blood 
and other marks of a struggle. These circumstances, 
the prisoner admitted, and the defence rested upon an 
attempt to prove temporary insanity ! 

In the state of New Hampshire, murder and treason 
are the only crimes punishable by death. Two coun- 
sel are provided for the panel by the state ; the prosecu- 
tion is conducted by the Attorney-general for the state, 
and the solicitor Qf the county ; and the court is com- 
posed of two judges of the local, and two of the supreme 
court, one of which latter presides. 

I attended three or four hours on the sejcond day, all 
of which time was occupied in the examination of me- 
dical men on the subject of insanity. 1 was surprised 
to find great weight attached in court to the writings 
and opinions of Combe and Spurzheim, and I certainly 
never heard so vague and desultory an examination as 
that which these witnesses underwent : every case of 
insanity that had ever come under their observation was 
quoted revelant or irrevelant. There was no attempt 
to prove that the prisoner had ever shown symptoms of 
that malady previously to the murder, but his grmid- 
father had been an odd man, and one of his uncles was 
nearly mad — when drunk ! 

One ludicrous instance quoted of the hereditary 
descent of maladies, may be mentioned as an evidenc^ 
of the latitude allowed to a prisoner's defence : the 
prisoner's father had never shown any symptoms of 
that strangeness of character for which his grandfather 
had been remarkable ; one medical witness said that 
the -President Jefferson's grandson inherited exactly 
that eminent man's nose^ although in the intermediate 
face of his father a difterent nose had appeared ! The 
prisoner had been confined about a year and a half, 
having confessed the assault and consequent murder. 
The stings of conscience, the tedious confinement, the 
expectation of death, and above x\\\fossihly the know- 
ledge that his life depended upon being pronounced 
mad or idiotic, had given to his countenance in court 
a sallow hue, a downcast look, a heavy lustreless eye; 


and yet one medical witness commented upon his ap- 
pearance in court as an evidence of madness ! 

My impression from the evidence was, that the pri- 
soner had been clearly guilty of a brutal attempt, which 
he had deliberately endeavoured to conceal by an atro- 
cious murder, and that be deserved hanging as richly 
as any wretch that ever died by the gallows. I learnt 
soon afterwards that he was condemned, but I did not 
hear or read of his execution, so it is not im^probabie 
that his punishment was commuted, as (in 1834) thir- 
teen years had elapsed since a capital conviction had 
been followed by execution in the state of New Hamp- 

Leaving Concord in the afternoon I drove to Amos- 
keag, a pretty village in the road to Boston, where 
there is a thriving cotton factory, standing upon a rocky 
promontory projecting into the river, whence the water 
flows through the establishment. Below it is a cascade, 
Qver which is thrown a wooden bridge. The dark 
pines fringing the banks of the stream, gave to the 
whole scene under the chasteninginfluence of the bright 
moonlight in which I saw it, an agreeable and pic- 
turesque effect, which was the more striking from its 
being totally unexpected. 

Here my poor steed, Hornet, evinced considerable 
signs of having been overdriven in the hot weather. 
As his shoulder was much pained by the collar, I de- 
termined to take him no further, and accordingly ex- 
changed him for a short, stout, active galloway, more 
suited for daily drudgery, and a better match in size 
for my little Indian pony. 

From Amoskeag I proceeded to Lowell in Massachu- 
sets, one of the most extraordinary towns in this extra- 
ordinary country. It is now perhaps the first manufac- 
turino- village in the United States ; and although it 
cannot vie with Manchester, Leeds, or Glasgow, in 
wealth or population, it far exceeds them in the neat- 
ness and cleanliness of its streets and buildings. Du- 
ring this year (1834) I understood that the capital em- 
barked in cotton mills was about one million and a half 
sterling, employing seven thousand persons, and above 
one hundred thousand spindles ; at a rough estimate 


there might be forty million yards of cotton made in 
the year, of which one-fourth were printed. 

From Lowell I proceeded to Boston, where I arrived 
in the evening. The approach to the city, which is over 
a very long wooden bridge, recalled Amsterdam to my 
memory ; an association, doubtless, strengthened by 
the busy stir, and the masts seen in so many directions 
as to lead you to believe that every street was a canal. 

On arriving, I drove (as every traveller must do, hon 
gre^ mal gre) to that first and most complete of hos- 
telry monopolies, the TremoHt House, which is certainly 
one of the largest and best-conducted establishments of 
the sort in the world. The building is a good massy 
specimen of the simplest order of Greek architecture ; 
and although I could not perceive the extreme beauty 
which I had been taught to expect, the effect of the 
whole is both pleasing ynd imposing. To this house 
the daily arrivals may be reckoned by scores, sometimes 
by hundreds ; and fortunate, indeed, is the man who, 
by giving a week's notice, can obtain a single room of 
ten feet by twelve. The ground floor is taken up by 
two large drawing rooms for ladies on one side of the 
entrance, and a reading-room, parlour, and smoking- 
room, for gentlemen, on the other ; behind these is the 
dining-room, probably ninety feet by fifty ; and the 
wings, which are built round a large court, contain par- 
lours and sleeping-rooms for families. 

The drives and rides about Boston are very beauti- 
ful specimens of the best kind of English villa scenery. 
The enclosures are small, the verdure rich, the ground 
undulating, and all remind the British traveller of the 
neighbourhood of Richmond and Roehampton, while 
the clean white villas, with their verandahs covered 
with fragrant creepers, and surrounded by gardens and 
orchards, indicate that luxurious comfort and wealthy 
repose which gild the peaceful autumn of a life of com- 
mercial activity. In many respects Boston is a pleasant 
and interesting city, the latter from its being the foun- 
dation stone of the Temple of American Liberty ; and 
the former, from the liberality and hospitality by which 
its citizens are distinguished. 


The day- after my arrival I had the pleasure of an in- 
troduction to Mr. Webster, whose reputation for foren- 
sic eloquence is already as familiar to the eastern as to 
the western hemisphere ; and although he was unfor- 
tunately labouring under the attack of a severe cold, it 
required very little fancy to clothe that open brow, that 
large dark eye, that firm and compressed lip, and that 
deep voice with all their well-known attributes of rea- 
soning, sarcasm, and invective. We parted with a sin- 
cere wish on my part to improve the acquaintance du- 
ring the ensuing season at Washington. 

My stay in this city was so short that I will not pre- 
tend to make any comments upon its society : I only 
attended two or three small parties ; and although the 
general tone of conversation was more grave and hte- 
rary than what I had hitherto found elsewhere in the 
United States, I am quite aware that any opinions of 
mine, formed during a residence of a few days in a city 
of such magnitude and so often described, would be 
crude and without value. I will, therefore, pass over 
the subject of Boston's merits, not as undeserving of 
further notice, but from a feeling of my own incompe- 
tence to do justice to it. 



Return to New York. — Heavy Fog. — Exploring Party.— Society in New 
York. — Departure for Philadelphia. — Exhibition of Wild Beasts in Bor- 
dentown. — Arrival in Philadelphia. — A lineal Descendant of William 
Wallace. — Arrival at Washington. — British Legation. — Tour to the 
West of Virginia. — Wretched Roads. — A Disaster. — A Negro Samari- 
tan. — Friendly Landlord. — Arrival at Leesburgh.— Search for Game. — 
Capture of a large Gobbler. — Fruit called Persimmon. — Remarkable 
Duel. — Romney. — Excursion in pursuit of Deer. — American Agricul- 
rist and Hunter. — Invidious Comparison, — Hospitable Laird. — Repub- 
lican Doctrine of Equality — ludicrous Anomalies arising from this. — 
Survey of various Tracts of Land. — Progress of Agriculture. — Excur- 
sion to the Glades of Alleghany — Scenery — the Inhabitants. — -Private 
Entertainment, — Mr, Chisholm. — Recollections of Scotland. — Scotch 
Settlers. — Field Sports in the Alleghanies. 

From Boston I returned to New York by steam, em- 
barking at Providence. On this expedition my usual 
sea-luck attended me, inasmuch as we were obliged to 
drop the anchor in mid-channel between Long Island 
and the main land in consequence of a heavy easterly 
fog, through which the eye could not penetrate above 
twenty yards. After lying there all night and half the 
succeeding day, the captain determined to send out a 
boat to explore in hopes of obtaining information orbear- 
ings by which he might continue his course. As I was 
weary of inaction, I jumped into the boat and took an 
oar ; there were three others besides myself and a 
steersman : we pushed off armed with only a compass, 
and in three minutes lost sight of the steamer. Like 
Satan of old 

" From them we went 
This uncouth errand sole ; and we, for all 
Ourselves exposed with lonely steps to tread 
Th' unfounded deep, and through the void immense 
To search with wandering quest a pface." 

We rowed steadily on in order that the compass might 
not be disturbed, and the only sound that broke upon 
the ear through the thick pulpy haze, was the melan- 


choly tolling of the steamboat bell which became gra- 
dually fainter and fainter, till at length it died away al- 

Several times we rested on our oars, and the cox- 
swain proposed to return, a motion which I always ne- 
gatived, as I thought we should be laughed at if we 
went back without conveying any information, and I 
knew that we were in a channel which could not be 
more than ten or fifteen miles wide, so that we had lit- 
tle fear of being starved, unless we were carried out to 
sea. Again we rowed on, and again the faint chime of 
the bell was heard as the lazy breeze veered and hauled 
and gradually died away ; but even this ceased to be of 
much avail, as one sailor thought the steamer was 
astern of us, another that she was on our larboard, ano- 
ther on our starboard quarter ; we still pulled a-head by 
compass, and were soon rewarded by hearing a distant 
roar which we knew to be breakers, but owincr to the 
state of the atmosphere the sounds were so indistinct, 
that we could not agree from whence they came. We 
pulled, perhaps, two or three miles before we made the 
shore, but then it was merely a low line of rocks, by 
which none of my companions could calculate whether 
it was island or main-land, or even ascertain on which 
side of the channel they were ; however, after pulling 
a mile or two alone the coast, we made a light house, 
which they recognized, and taking accurate bearings, 
we put the boat about and steered due north-west, which 
was the point at which we calculated the steamer's an- 
chorage ; determining, after rowing a certain distance, 
to cruise about till we heard the bell. The plan suc- 
ceeded, and we reached her with very little deviation 
from our north-west course, having been absent between 
two and three hours. Altogether it was to me a very 
pleasant excursion : I obtained some hard exercise, as 
we had but four oars, and the boat was meant for six ; 
and there was something mysterious in the chaoticdark- 
ness of our course that gave the excitement of danger 
without its annoyance. 

On my return to New York, I quitted the gaiety and 
noise of the hotel for a quiet lodging, and resolved to 


spend a few weeks in the enjoyment of the pleasures of 
society. Of these — although it was not properly speak- 
ino" the s^ay season — I had enough aiid more than 
enough, to satisfy my utmost desires, and the time pas- 
sed as" rapidly as it is wont tu do, under the influepce of 
hospitality, amusement,und 1 hope, I may add, friendship. 

On the 23rd of October I left New York for Phila- 
delphia, which journey is usually performed in little 
more than half a day, by the combined exertions of. 
steam-boat and railroad opposed to the vis mortice of 
their respective antagonist elements. I preferred how- 
ever, driving at leisure through the quiet woods, of 
New Jersey to Bordentown, where I spent tiie evening, 
and found the whole village in a state of excitement, 
owing to the recent arrival of a caravan of wild beasts. 
Of course I went to see it. The exhibition of animals 
was commonplace enough, with the exception of a very 
find black-mained African lion, and a young female 
elephant, which last had been saved from the wreck 
of an English vessel, on board of which she had been 
so smitten by the heaiix yenx of a bitll-dog, that she 
could not be prevailed upon to leave the wreck till her 
canine swain was induced to jum.p into the water, and 
she followed him : of course this tender couple have 
not been separated. Though the wild beasts were of 
an ordinary description, not so were the caravans and 
vehicles in which they were transported ; of these there 
were ten or twelve, each drawn by four or six grey 
horses, no other colour being admitted : they were 
accompanied by an excellent German band, and their 
puffs or show bills would put to shame the paltry ef- 
forts of Messrs. Womb well, Charles Wright, or even 
those of a candidate for Westminister. 

On the following day I arrived in Philadelphia. As 
I proposed revisiting this city in the winter, I made 
but a short stay ; but during the fQ\Y days which I did 
remain there, 1 experienced much kindness from the 
two or three families with whom I was acquainted ; 
and among other inducements to return, I must not 
forget that I heard the harp played in a manner never 
excelled by any performer, professor, or amateur. As 


the fair harpiste was one whom I had the pleasure to 
number among my acquaintance, I looked forward to 
the winter months when I might again enjoy a musical 
treat, in hearing so exquisitely played an instrument 
which is linked with all the earliest associations of my 

\i Baltimore I met and conversed with an elderly 
gentleman of the name of Wallace. In early life he 
had attended the classes at Edinburgh, and studied 
under Dr. Black and others. He boasts of beinsf the 
only remaining lineal descendant of William Wallace, 
and still uses the arms and motto of that hero : he men- 
tioned to me that he was once in an engraver's shop 
in Edinburgh, giving the requisite instructions for cut- 
ting his seal, when the Earl of Buchan, who was ac- 
cidentally present, examined the arms and motto, and 
said, "Sir, there is only one family remaining entitled 
to these, and that family is in Virginia." This con- 
firmation of his innocent and praiseworthy claims from 
the lips of a stranger, must have given him great sat- 
isfaction. He is a very cheerful, communicative, old 
gentleman, and I was really pleased to interchange a 
friendly grasp with a hand, the veins of which might 
be enriched even with a drop of the Wallace blood. 

On the 1st of November I arrived at Washington, 
where I found myself domesticated in the house of 
my friend Sir C. Vaughan, and surrounded by every 
comfort that the kindest host could devise, or the 
most luxurious traveller desire. I should feel that I 
was trespassing upon the privacy of friendship were 1 
to enumerate his agreeable and amiable qualities as a. 
companion, or his high character as a diplomatist, 
although all who know him would bear witness to 
the former, and the latter is stamped by public opin- 

After spending a pleasant fortnight in Washington, 
which city I intended to revisit in the winter, I pro- 
ceeded on my tour into the west of Virginia. As I 
continued to travel in my waggon with my two po- 
nies, I proposed halting the first evening at Leesburgh, 
a village about thirty-two miles from Washington. I 


had been warned that the road was nnderoroing a 
radical reform, and I started in a heavy constant rain, 
in order that I might the better appreciate tlie neces- 
sity for snch a measure : the first two miles convinced 
me that its adoption was never more loudly called for 
by Gatton or Old Sarum, by the old burgh corpora- 
tions of Scotland, or by the late post-office regulations 
in America. 

In one place the road, or rather the passage, with a 
high bank on one side and a canal on the other, was 
strewed so thickly with rocks that it was impossible 
to guide either horse or wheels between them ; the 
aforesaid flank barricades prevented the attainment of 
the usual remedial luxury in this country, of driving by 
the side of the road over stumps of trees or through a 
morass, so I had nothing for it but to leave my four- 
footed friends to their own sagacity, and to trust the 
character of the coachmaker to the mercy of the rocks. 
The sequel will prove that the latter did not deserve 
the confidence reposed in him so well as the former ; 
they indeed scrambled on in a manner that amused 
and astonished me ; my little Indian leader, (for I 
drove them tandem) was now perched on a stone with 
his tail above the wheeler's head, then descended into 
a pool where he was hardly visible. Indeed, our 
progress was something like that agreeable journey 
(would that he had never accomplished it !) which his 
Satanic majesty, as described by Milton, made from 
his infernal to his future terrestrial dominion. 

" Nigh founder'd, on he fares, 
O'r bog, or steep, through straits, rough, dense, or rare, 
With head, hands, wings, or feet, pursues his way." 

At length we escaped from this confused mass of 
rocks, (which, after all, requires nothing more than a 
few barrels of gunpowder and a few hundred Irish 
under the guidance of Macadam, to make it into a 
road,) and I fondly hoped that I had escaped the stony 
ordeal, with no further damage than my own half- 
dislocated bones ; heii^ vatum ignarcB m.entes ! I 
drove on in safety for upwards of twenty-iive miles, 



and was, indeed, within three of Leesbnrgh. The 
rain was falling in torrents, night had come on, when, 
descending a small hill, I felt several strange and 
uncouths jots in the waggon, which were too often 
repeated for me to think they could be occasioned by- 
stones in the road ; and just as I had resolved to get 
out at the bottom of the hill to ascertain the cause of 
this strange limpmg gait in my waggcn, I was spared 
the trouble of putting my intentions into execution, 
by the sudden departure of one of the forewheels, 
which placed me comfortably in the mud. Luckily 
my ponies were as quiet in difficulty as gallant in 
action, so they gave me no trouble. I got up to ex- 
amine the damage, and found that the wheel was 
positively annihilated, the rim and tire gone, nowhere 
to be found, and the spokes broken in every direction, 
after having warned me by the aforementioned jolts of 
the unwonted office they were performing. 

Now, gentle readers of" these important memoirs, if you 
have experience in similarcases, or if you have imagi- 
nation, which will do quite as well, picture to yourself 
the agreeable predicament in which I was placed ; 
alone in a strange road and unknown country, not a 
human being or dwelling in sight, inasmuch as it was 
already dark, and my wagon full of baggage, which I 
did not which to leave exposed while I went to seek 
assistance, even if I had ventured to trust tlie station- 
ary propensities of the ponies : here was enough to 
rouse the bilious ingredients of a moderate temper. 
However, there are few evils without their attendant 
antidotes ; and in this case any little tendency that I 
might have to warm or hasty feeling, was wholesomely 
cooled and subdued by the rain, which conticued 
to fail with unwearied perseverance and undiminished 

Not having the means of lighting one consolatory 
cigar, I was obliged in psei/do-FcisidU phrase, to "sit 
upon the carpet of expectation and smoke the pipe of 
patience." I took the harness off my Indian leader, 
in order that I might be ready to pursue the first Sa- 
maritan that Providence might send to the neighbour- 


hood, and had not waited a quarter of an hour, when 
a negro passed, carrying some brooms to the village ; 
he seemed a good-humoured fellow, and willing to 
render me all the assistance in his power. I liked his 
manner, and what I could see of his face, (which by- 
the-by amounted to little more than the teeth,) and 
determined to show a magnanimous confidence worthy 
of the great Alexander and his medicine cup. Ac- 
cordingfy I left him in charge of the waggon and one 
quadruped, while I threw myself on the deck of the 
other, which I had unharnessed, and galloped back to 
a house that I remembered to have passed at the dis- 
tance of a mile from the scene of my catastrophe.* 

On arriving, 1 entered the first room, and presented 
my dripping and suppliant form to tlie landlord of the 
tavern, for such it was. He proved very deaf to my 
voice, not so to my entreaties ; for, after I had bellowed 
in his ear a detail of my accident, whi^^h elicited sundry 
suppressed sniggles and malicious smiles from one or 
two personifications of mischief in petticoats who were 
in the adjacent room, the old gentleman told me that 
I was welcome to his servant, horse, and cart, to trans- 
port my luggage to the city, and that he should charge 
me nothing. I think it right to record this among the 
many refutations (which my experience affords) to the 
accusation of rudeness, so frequently and unjustly- 
brought against the Americans. 

I returned to the tvaggon, where I found my faith- 
ful sentinel, who assisted me to place ail my effects in 
the cart ; and mounting him upon the other pony, 
with the baggage-waggon in the rear, I entered the 
villasfe of L^esburgh, with my two sable attendants, 
soaked and triumpliant. Dry clothes, and a cup of hot 
coffee, accompanied by a broiled fowl and some smoking 
cakes ot Indian corn, soon banished all unpleasant 
recollections of '' mine accident," The discriminating 
reader will doubtless perceive from this little narrative, 
written the same evening, that my temper was soon 

+ The classical reader will appreciate the etymological propriety of this 


restored to its usual equilibrium ; whether that be 
good, bad, or indifferent, I leave him to discover. 

While my waggon was undergoing the requisite re- 
pairs, I went into the woods near Leesbnrgh,in search 
of partrido^es, or any other game that might fall in my 
way. I was accompanied by a boy and his dog, a 
very small spaniel: the day was intensely cold, it rained 
and froze severely, and consequently I found my clothes 
as stiff as boards upon my person. This would have 
been disagreeable had I not entirely forgotten it in a 
chase which I unexpectedly undertook. I was cross- 
ing a wooded ravine, when a large gobler (so is the 
full-grown wild turkey-cock called here) started from 
the brush-wood ; my gun was only loaded with very 
small partridge-shot, but I discharged both barrels after 
the flying enemy, accidentally broke his wing ; he came 
to the ground, and began to run like an ostrich. The 
little spaniel pursued in gallant style ; but when he 
came up, was too small to hurt or hold his antagonist. 
I threw down my rifle and joined in the pursuit : at 
length I got hold of the turkey's leg ; the grass \yas 
slippery with ice, and in his desperate struggle to es- 
cape he pulled me over on the ground, then he scrat- 
ched my hands with his claws, and nearly blinded me 
by flapping his great wings over my face and eyes ; 
at last I contrived to seize his neck, and soon put an 
end to the contest. As he was too heavy a burthen 
for my little companion, I slung him across my back, 
and shouldering my rifle, returned in triumph to Lees- 
burgh. During the walk homeward I felt no disposi- 
tion to complain of the cold ; for, independent of my 
accoutrements, the turkey's weight proved, on my 
arrival, to be twenty-eight pounds. 

On this expedition I tasted for the first time, the Per- 
simmon, a fruit which is excellent when over-ripe and 
slightly touched by frost ; but woe to the inexperienced 
stranger who ventures upon it in an earlier stage of ma- 
turity ! for then its bitter power of astringency is sur- 
prising, and seems capable of suspending for a time all 
the faculties of the lips, and binds up the risible mus- 
cles of the sufferer to the same extent that it excites 
those of a spectator. 


While in this village, I became acquainted with a 

gentleman, Colonel M , who had been concerned in 

one ot those extraordinary duels unheard of in any 
other civilized nation. He had quarrelled with Gene- 
ral M , to whom he was related, (they were either 

first-cousins or brothers-in-law, I forget which,) and 
upon some occasion of meeting and dispute, the colonel 
knoclied the general down. Of course, he immediately 

challenged Colonel M , leaving him the choice of 

any medium of destruction which suited his fancy. — 
Colonel M , knowing the general to be an experien- 
ced swordsman and an unerring shot, proposed to the 
gentleiTiun who came to settle the preliminaries of this 
" miirhty pretty quarrel," that he and the general should 
sit upon the same barrel of gunpowder, and by the ap- 
plication of a match, both take a trip mto the aerial re- 
gions. This very sociable proposal was declined by 
the o-eneral ; and the colonel, still determined to have 
the honour of his relation's company in the long jour- 
ney " from which no traveller returns," suggested the 
propriety of their taking hands and jumping together 
off the top of the Capitol. This courteous (query Cur- 
titfs) offer was also declined by the unaccommodating 
and unreasonable general ; and the third proposal of 
the colonel was musket and ball, at five or ten paces (I 
forget which). To this arrangement there could be no 
objection, 'rhey met — fired together Dy signal — the 
general was shot through the heart,while his ball, which 
was pursuing its true course to his opponent's breast, 
struck against the breech of his musket, glanced off, 
and did no further injury than shattering a part of one 
of his wrists; he showed me the scar of this wound. 

I have ofiven this story exactly as it was told me by 
several of the colonel's own acquaintances in the town 
where he lives, and have no reason to doubt its correct- 
ness. It is only necessary to add, that both these par- 
ties were men of as high standing as any in their dis- 
trict, both members of the legislature, and that this duel 
was fought within fifty miles of the capital of the Uni- 
ted States. Where caii we find in the annals of early 


Rome, or of Gothic barbarianism, or any where else 
(except, perhaps, some instances of more glaring atro- 
city in Louisiana), a personal quarrel carried on in a 
spirit more vindictive and barbarous ? This incident 
would, indeed, be scarcely worth the narration, as far 
as relates to the two individuals concerned, (because it 
might be argued that in any country two persons might 
be possessed by so rabid a feeling of revenge or hatred 
as to proceed to similarly savage extremities,) but it 
does derive some importance, as a collateral indication 
of national character, from the fact that the parties were 
in respectable and responsible situations, and that the 
circumstances attending the duel were related to me in 
a manner rather laudatory of the courage, than depre- 
catory of the thirst of blood displayed — and that too 
among a people claiming the admiration of Europe for 
the universal dissemination of education, intelligence, 
and morality ! 

The weather and the roads continuing equally exe- 
crable, I went on by slow stages to Romney, a village 
on the northern neck of Virginia, where I proposed to 
remain a few weeks to arrange some business connected 
with land in its neighbourhood. 

I was not a little amused by the following incident, 
which occurred, on the day of my arrival, at the mar- 
rias^e of two negroes. The hymeneal knot was tied by 
a member of the sable fraternity. In making the usual 
inquiry, whether any person present could object to the 
nuptial ceremony, he pronounced in an audible voice 
the following exhortation : — "Whoever knows any just 
cause why these two persons should not be joined in 
holy matrimony, speak now, hereafier — or hold 
your tongue for ever /" I saw two or three of the la- 
dies attendant upon the bride ; they were most beauti- 
fully dressed, especially one who wore a laced cap, with 
coiffure (1 suppose) a la Frosei'pine.ixnd a crimson satin 
gown. In sober earnest, it was a melancholy reflection, 
that this " happy couple" might be to-day or to-morrow 
separated for life by the slightest whim of the owner of 
either of them ! If they remain together, the issue of 
the nuptial bed belongs to the owner of the bride ! 


As the o^reater part of the inhabitants were very busy- 
in attendance upon tfie county court which was then 
sitting, I determined to spend a few days among the 
surrounding mountains, in pursuit of deer, bears, or 
whatever game fortune might throw in my way. I 
lodored the first night at the house of a farmer, about 
seven miles from tiie village, who joined the habits of 
a hunter to those of an agriculturist, as is indeed the 
case with all the country people in this district ; nearly 
every man has a rifle, and spends part of his lime in 
the chase. My double rifle, of London manufacture, 
excited much surprise amono^ them ; but the conclu- 
ding remark of almost every inspector was, "I guess I 
could beat you at a mark." 

My host received me with much hospitality, and in- 
troduced me to several young neighbours, who were to 
be our companions on the following day. The conver- 
sation was marked by that invidious comparison of the 
liberty and privileges respectively enjoyed by the inha- 
bitants of this country and of Britain which is but too 
common among Americans of the middle class : they 
still persist in considering as slaves a body of men as 
happy, free, and independent as themselves. On these 
and many other points, a continued fire of raillery on 
the British was kept up ; but I must add it was meant 
in good humour, and was by me so received. In the 
same spirit, on the following morning, they attempted 
to walk me down, by taking me over the roughest and 
steepest ground (we were on foot fourteen hours) ; but 
when I was fortunate enough to kill a fine fat buck, I 
really believe that every man present was more gbid of 
my success than if he had killed it himself. AVe slept, 
among the hills, six or seven on the floor, in the cabin 
of a hospitable laird^ who gave us an excellent supper, 
and returned the followingday, through the same moun- 
tains, without killing any more deer. They were pret- 
ty scarce, having been massacred in hundreds during a 
heavy snow the preceding winter. I found the tracks 
of several bears, but saw none. One of the party had 
a shot at Bruin, about a hundred yards off; but he mis- 
sed him. 


The mountains being steep, and covered with thick 
brushwood, render the walking somewhat fatiguing, 
especially as their sides are frequently composed of loose 
stones, which become, when slightly encrusted with 
snow, so slippery as to give little support or purchase 
for the feet ; but, although quite out of pedestrian prac- 
tice, I went through the day, thanks to my habits of 
walkino^ in the highlands, without experiencing any 
unpleasant fatigue. 

There is nothing more amusinof among Americans 
than the jealous care and assiduity with which they as- 
sert and maintain the republican doctrine of equality ; 
while, on the other hand, they observe distinctions and 
interchange titles which would appear ridiculous in 
England. For instance, the very tirst evening that I 
passed under the roof of my worthy host, not only he, 
but his farm assistants and labourers, called me " Char- 
lie f^ which Christian appellation would doubtless ap- 
pear Ye^Y familiar to an English ear in the mouth of 
a person whose acquaintance is just made : the curious 
observer of character, who wishes to see the jper contra 
side of the picture may find in the first village to which 
he comes, the small tavern where he lodges kept by a 
general, the broken wheel of his waggon mended by a 
colonel, and the day-labourers and mechanics speaking 
of one another as "this gentleman," and " that gentle- 

They will not, probably, continue long to wage this 
useless war with common sense and the common mean- 
ing of words ; but will return to the usual acceptation 
of terms acknowledged by other civilized nations, among 
whom a general is a man so named from the length or 
celebrity of his military service, and a gentleman is so 
called from being, by birth, education, or habits, ena- 
bled to follow literary, scientific, or liberal pursuits, 
which, by refininor Jiis manners and enlarging his mind, 
distinguish him from the great mass of mankind. In 
short, tficy cannot change human nature: and in the 
application of these and similar absurd appellations they 
must at length find, as a logician might say, that in- 
stead of ennobling the subject they only degrade the 


predicate. Indeed, common candour compels us to con- 
fess, that even in Britain the said word " gentleman" 
has been, like its twin-brother "honour," sadly misap- 
plied ; and these high and noble appellations, as they 
would be understood by a Surrey or a Sidney in olden 
time, or by kindred minds to theirs in our own, belong 
with about as much propriety to the coxcomb, the pro- 
fligate, and tiie duellist who assume them among us, as 
"general" or gentleman" the worthy American tavern 
keeper or operative. 

As the business which led me to aaest^Romney ob- 
liged me to superintend and accom.pany the survey of 
various tracts of land in its neigbourhood, I became 
thereby more familiarly acquainted with the nature and 
qualities both of the soil and of the inhabitants than I 
should have been without some such inducement. I 
have before mentioned that the surrounding country is 
mountainous and covered with thick woods. Inc tim- 
ber is noi generally fine, the best of it having been cut 
for planks ; but the brushwood is so dense, and the 
ground so rough, that the process of surveying is ex- 
tremely tedious and difficult. It occupied a week, every 
day of which we breakfasted before daylight, and did 
not cease our investigation till nightfall, when we be- 
took ourselves to the nearest house or cabin for food 
and rest. We were in every instance kindly and hos- 
pitably received ; and though our hosts were in many 
instances very poor, we got generally a good supper of 
Indian-corn cakes, buck-wheat, and wheat bread, coflfee, 
milk, and broiled pork or venison, and slept comforta- 
bly, sometimes on beds, and sometimes in blankets, 
cloaks, or buffalo-skins, on tlie floor. 

The process of ao:riculture (if it can be so termed) in 
this district has usually been, to select and clear some 
favourable spot of woodland ; to build a house with part 
of the timber, and sell or burn the rest ; to work the 
soil, by making it bear crop after crop till it was nearly 
exhausted, then to sell it for what they could get, and 
either clear another piece, or what was more common, 
emigrate to the Western States. In this maimer have 
the soil and the inhabitants of this district been impove- 


rished. One half of the latter who remain are daily- 
talking of emigrating ; and, could tliey pay off the 
debts with which they are generally encnmbered, and 
get any one to buy their farms, they would decamp im- 

During my stay at Romney I made an excusion to 
the glades of Alleghany, beins: desirous of visiting that 
district, and of enjoying the sport of hunting the deer 
and bears with which it was said to abound. I could 
not have chosen a more unfavourable season ; for the 
winter was just setting in, the wind was keen, the 
frost intense, and the snow had not begun to fall, 
without which winter hunting is attended with but 
little success. The roads were, as usual in that 
neighbourhood, execrable; moveov^er, 1 was obliged 
to cross several creeks or rivers, at places cetWed fords. 
Such indeed they might be to an elephant or giraffe, 
but such they did not always prove to my little Indian 
pony. On one occasion, having arrived upon a 
branch of the Potomac when the day was pretty far 
advanced, and not having much time to deliberate, or 
calculate the depth, " accoutred as I was I plunged 
in ;'- and before I had reached the mid-stream, was 
pleased to find that my Lilliputian charger was as well 
versed m the art of swimming as in that of trotting ; 
although I must acknowlege that the satisfaction con- 
sequent upon this discovery was both cooled and 
damped by the state in which my nether man was 
obliged to complete the day's journey. 

The scenery between Romney and the glades is 
generally of a wild and mountainous character ; the 
undulations of the hills are almost too regular ; and 
yet, such is their vast extent, and so interspersed are 
they with wood and water, that in summer the pros- 
pect must be dehghtful : indeed. I have never met 
a tract of country resembling these glades. After 
crossing several steep hills, or knobs, as they are hei?e 
called, the road opens upon a vast plain, elevated 
about eight hundred feet above ihe sea-level. Here, 
during the months of July and August, while other 
districts around are suffering from the fierce extreme 


of heat, the herbage is luxuriant and extremely abun- 
dant, the foliage rich and varied, the breeze is ever 
cool, and the streamlets which flow through and fer- 
tilize these natural meadows are always cold and 
transparent. The number of herds driven hither in 
the summer to pasture is almost incredible. 1 believe 
it to be the healthiest district in the whole continent 
of North America. 

The inhabitants are a hardy and hospitable race, and 
almost all hunters by profession. In the autumn they 
kill many deer and bears, which they send in w^ag- 
gons to Baltimore and Washington, where they meet 
a ready and profitable market, averaging about 10 
cents a pound ; which price would make a saddle of 
venison of ordinary size, or 60 pounds, bring 600 
cents, or nearly 'SOs. sterling. In the summer the 
chief occupation of the inhabitants is connected with 
the pasturage before-mentioned. The population is 
by no means dense, and the owners and occupants of 
land (being generally two or three miles apart) are 
most of them tavern-keepers, or, as it is there termed, 
they keep " private entertainment." This distinction 
consists chiefly in the latter being upon a smaller and 
less comfortable scale than the taverns ; indeed the 
only point in which they differ from other farmers 
houses is, that the words " private accommodation," 
entitles them to make a charge in cases where other- 
wise the duties of gratuitous hospitality would be in- 
cumbent or inconvenient. 

Before I went up to these glades, I had been told 
that I must go and see Mr. A, Mr. B, Mr. C, excellent, 
fine, hospitable people ; they would be so glad to see 
me, and to keep me a few days with them. Upon 
arriving, I was amused to observe that each of these 
kept " private entertainment ;" and when I came 
away, my bill, though reasonable, was at the usual 
rate of tavern charges. I record these trifles, not as 
disparaging to the civility or hospitality of the inhabi- 
tants, but as illustrative of their habits and modes of 
life ; indeed, it would be ungrateful did 1 not remem- 
ber that the farmer with whom I chiefly resided, af- 


forded me every assistance in hunting that lay in his 
power, and showed me every attention that a guest 
could desire. The house was in very bad repair; and 
though the mercury was in the very near neighbour- 
hood of zero of Reaumer, I could see from my bed 
several pretty views of the surrounding country, not 
through the windows, but through the apertures be- 
tween^ the logs of which the walls were composed ; 
while the roof afforded me the same agreeable facilities 
for star-gazing. However, despite my usual admira- 
tion of the beauties of nature, I was unsentimental 
enough to fill these rustic vistas with hay, and by the 
help of a tolerable fire 1 waged successful war against 
the combined forces of north-west wind and frost. 

We had but indifferent sport among the deer, owing 
to the cold dry weather and tlie want of snow : how- 
ever, I enjoyed my favourite exercise of walking from 
sunrise till evening ; and was delighted, after the lazi- 
ness and languor induced by the iDurning heat of last 
summer, again to feel the elasticity of sinew and free- 
dom of step with which I have been wont to tread the 
moor and mountain of old Scotland. 

One of my long rambles led me to the house of Mr. 
Chisholm, one of a large and respectable family who 
emio^rated from the neighbourhood of Inveriiess, and 
are now among the most wealthy and thriving tenants 
of the glades. As I drew near to the farm 1 overtook 
a man whom I immediately guessed by his appearance 
to be the laird. He did not hear me coming along 
the grass, and when close behind him 1 called out, in 
Gaelic, "It is a fine day, to-day." He started with 
surprise at this salutation, answered it by welcoming 
me to his house, and soon made me regret that my 
knowledge of Gaelic, confined as it was to a few phrases, 
did not enable me to carry on the conversation in that 
languasre ; however, we "cracked" long over scenes of 
mutualinterest and recollection — the wilds of Badenoch, 
the woodlands of Inverishie, and the ducal mansion 
ot Kinrara, and the neighbouring abode of Rothie- 

With many mingled emotions did I listen to the 


tongue that, in native accents, spoke of these well- 
known scenes. They may be of little interest to others, 
they may be unknown to fame ; but when one who 
has highland blood in his veins — whose early foot has 
trodden the heath-covered mountain — whose young 
memory was impregnated with the wheeling flight of 
the eagle, the timid eye and free bound of the roe, the 
hoarse plash of the waterfall and the slumbering loch, 
its pebbled margin fringed with weeping birch, and its 
bosom reflecting the rugged and dusky forms of the 
cliffs and promontories by which it is indented — when 
such a one feels his heart unmoved, his spirit unstirred 
by these recollections, let him doff" that tartan which 
has well-earned its green and crimson glory in many 
a field from Bannockburn to Waterloo- — let him doff 

" and hang a calf-skin on his recreant limbs !" 

In no other part of the world has my national pride 
been more gratified than in this country ; which 
abounding as it does in setders from every nation in 
Europe, aflfords a fairer opportunity than that can be 
found at home of comparing their respective characters 
under similar circumstances. 1 think 1 can affirm with 
equal truth and pleasure, that the Scotchmen who 
have settled in the United States, have earned for 
themselves a higher average character for honesty, 
perseverance, and enterprise, than their rival settlers 
from any other part of the old world. 

The worthy and estimable man under whose roof 
I here found myself, had, when a boy, herded cattle 
and sheep on the hill-side in the highlands. On arri- 
ving here, his sobriety and laborious industry had pro- 
cured him employment ; in a short lime he was ena- 
bled to buy a small tract of land, which he yearly in- 
creased and improved •. and he has employed the leisurf 
hours which the management of a pasture farm allows 
during the winter, in repairing the defects of early 
education, and in storing his mind with practical 
knowledge and general information. A sister, who 
acts as housekeeper, has joined him ; several of his 


brothers have also settled in the neighbourhood ; and 
there is not in the district a family n:iore highly or 
deservedly respected. 

It could have little interest for the reader were I to 
give the detail of my sporting life in the Alleghanies. 
We killed a good number of deer, and sometimes amu- 
sed ourselves with shooting at a mark for small wa- 
gers ; on these latter occasions, I witnessed the skill of 
most of the professional hunters in the district : at a 
short distance (from twenty-five to fifty yards) they 
shot with much precision ; but, although their rifles 
are so long and heavy in metal, their performance at 
a hundred and fifty yards was very inferior to that of 
many sportsmen whom I could name in Britain. When 
I went first among them, they were rather inclined to 
jeer at my light short rifle carrying two large balls ; 
but, after a i'ew days in the woods, when they found 
that I could frequently hit a running deer, (a shot 
which they rarely attempted,) their disrespect for my 
weapon was much diminished, especially as they often 
wounded without killing their deer ; while my heavy 
balls, if struck, generaUy gave a mortal, or at least a 
disabling wound. 


Return to Washington.— The Capitol.— The Senate.— The Ladies' Gal- 
lery. — Debate on the relations with France. — Mr. Clay. — Mr. Webster. 
— Public Demonstration on the Death of a Citizen. — Attempt upon the 
Life of the President — his mirac\]lous Escape. — Mr. Calhoun. — Mount 
Vernon. — Observations on Washington's Tomb. — Singular Occurrence 
illustrative of the State of Society in Louisiana. — Melancholy Appear- 
ance of the City of Washington — its Site. — Method of assessing its In- 

. habitants. — Absence of local attachment in American Agriculturists 
contrasted with the Scottish Love of Country. 

From the glades I returned, via Romney and without 
accident, to Washington, again to enjoy the luxuries of 
agreeable society and a comfortable home ; for such to 
me, in the fullest sense of the word, did Sir C. Vaughan 
render his house. 


My first object of curiosity and interest was natural- 
ly the Congress, and I accordingly drove to the Capi- 
tol ; an edifice in the appearance of which a stranger, 
who judges from the relations of British travellers, will 
be agreeably surprised. It certainly cannot claim the 
merit of simplicity or uniformity of character, neither 
are its proportions or decorations in strict oxcordance 
with the rules of Grecian architecture ; but the efiect 
is altogether grand and imposing : and well will it be 
for America, if the moral materials composing its con- 
gressional assembly prove as well-proportioned and du- 
rable as the building in which they hold their sittings. 
The circular hall, or saloon, in which are four entran- 
ces, to the vestibule, the library, the Senate, and the 
Hall of Representatives, is spacious, and well lighted by 
a dome. It seems a favourite lounging-place for idlers 
of all classes, and contains four pictures by Colonel 
Trumbull, representing scenes connected with the re- 
volutionary history. On this account they may be in- 
teresting to Americans, but to a lover of the fine arts 
they offer no attraction whatever. The Hall of Repre- 
sentatives is a spacious semi-circular apartment, con- 
taining ofalleries for reporters and the public, and hav- 
ing its floor furnished with an elbow-chair and a table 
for each member. 

It happened, when I arrived, that the question before 
the house was not one of much importance : and the 
scene, for the time, resembled rather a large club or cafe 
than a deliberative assembly ; for certainly three- 
fourths of the members were writing their private let- 
ters, reading newspapers, and chatting as comfortably 
as if they had been in the front room of Brooke's or 
White's. This hall, from its dimensions and decora- 
tions, possesses every requisite for the purpose to which 
it is appropriated, except one, and that one is the most 
vital : it is scarcely possible to hear two wordsl'n five, 
uttered by a speaker of ordinary lungs. I have been 
told, that Mr. Clay, when he was in that house, and 
some few others, could make themselves understood ; 
but I think I never saw an apartment of the same mag- 
nitude in which the voice was so completely lost ; and 


even breathless sileiice will not avail much, as there is 
an echo which so mingles the present with the prece- 
ding tones, as to render distinctness altogether impos- 
sible, except by means of the very slowest ennnciation; 
a method quite incompatible with the vehement and re- 
dundant declamation, which is one of the leading fea- 
tures of American oratory. 

The Senate is of much smaller size, and in everyway 
better adapted for argumentative debate : it is also fur- 
nished with galleries for reporters and the public, and 
round the exterior curve of the semicircle, on the floor, 
is one for ladies, and for those who have leave of ad- 
mission from senators ; while in the base of the semi- 
circle, behind the President's chair, is a large recess 
open to members of the other house and to foreign mi- 

As I had obtained the favour of the entree to the low- 
er, or ladies' gallery, I entered there and found every 
seat occupied by a fair politician. There was moreover, 
a considerable number of gentlemen standing to hear 
the discussion. I had not stood there more than five 
minutes, when one of the door-keepers was sent in with 
a chair for my convenience. I was, I confess, struck 
with this polite attention to a strano^er: whether I was 
indebted to the V ice-President or to some other senator 
for it, I regretted much that I had not an opportunity 
of thanking him for a civility which I have much plea- 
sure in recordino^. 

The discussion being upon local and unimportant 
subjects, I did not remain long on this occasion, but 
returned a few days atterwards, to hear the debate up- 
on the relations with France. Tlie circumstances 
connected with this question are well-known. The 
President, in his message, demanded from Congress 
provisional authority for making reprisals upon French 
property, in the contingency of tlie (continued non- 
payment by France of tlie indemnity promised by her 
in the treaty of 1831 to the United States. In order 
fully to understand the management of this important 
question in the Senate, it must be remembered, that in 
that body the opposition had a majority, while in the 

MR. CLAY. 101 

House of Representatives they were in a minority. 
The debate was opened by Mr. Clay, the framer of 
the resohitions, adopted by the committee on foreign 
relations, the last of which formed the ground-work of 
the present motion, " that it was inexpedient, at the 
^present time, to grant the provisional authority re- 
quested by the President." 

It is well known that Mr. Clay is one of the most 
vehement and eloquent opponents of the President's 
goverimient ; and here certainly was a magnificent 
opportunity for displaying those peculiar powers which 
distinguish his oratory, inasmuch as the word " repri- 
sals" was so much calculated to wound the pride and 
dignity of France, and to give that nation a plea for 
breaking off all further negotiation upon the subject. 
All the property and intelligence of America were 
naturally averse to a war with France ; the inevitable 
consequence of which, even if successfnl, must be an 
expense of money threefold greater than the indemnity 
demanded ; and Mr. Clay had a fine occasion, and one 
which none could have improved better than himself, 
of uttering a philippic against the government for 
giving France so fair an excuse for transferring the 
question from her diplomatists to her admirals : but 
he took a wiser and more statesman-like course ; and 
in a speech at once able, temperate, and eloquent ar- 
gued the expediency of deferring any legislative mea- 
sure in regard to the relations with France — he depre- 
cated all national division and dissension on this ques- 
tion, and expressed his willingness to modify his mo- 
tion, so as to secure a unanimous vote upon the occa- 

The speeches of most of those who took part in the 
debate adopted a similar tone ; and a resolution, pro- 
posed by Mr. Webster, and slightly altered by Mr. 
Clay's original motion, was carried unanimously. 

The whole debate was highly creditable both to the 
temper and ability of the holise, and that not so much 
from what was said, as from what was 7iot said, on a ques- 
tion touching national vanity, and perhaps almost na- 
tional honour, and when it was so difficult to avoid expres- 


102 MR. CLAY. 

sions irritating" to the feelings of the respective parties 
to the treaty. The original sentence in the President's 
message which caused the debate, has been much 
censured for its imprudence — whether justly or not, 
is a matter of doubt. In all such inquiries the object 
in view must be first clearly ascertained. If that ob- 
ject was to maintain peace with France by every 
means compatible with the honour of the United States, 
the paragraph in question was imprudent ; but the 
President was probably influenced by other views. 
No man, much less a stranger, has a right to impute 
motives ; but they are to any observer a fair and open 
field for conjecture ; and it is possible, that the Presi- 
dent was not very averse to a little quarrel with France, 
seeing that his revenue was unburthened, and that 
such a national cause was calculated to cement that 
union between the States, which various conflicting 
accidents and interests had occasionally threatened to 
weaken, since the last war. 

To return to Mr. Clay : — his manner and voice are 
both admirably adapted for a leader in a popular 
assembly ; ttie former is earnest and energetic (though 
perhaps deficient in that grace and dignity which 
characterize the oratory of Earl Grey) ; the latter is 
full and manly; and though its tones cannot be 
pronounced musical, still they are modulated to the 
subject-matter, and produce upon the hearer that most 
powerful of all effects — a conviction that, if provoked, 
the lion, could roar yet more terribly. As an illustra- 
tion of this last-mentioned principle, (he Miltonian 
reader may remember with what mighty force that 
great master has applied it, when, after describing the 
power, and strength, and terror, with which the Son 
drove upon, and overthrew the rebellious host of angels, 
he concludes — 

" Yet half his strenarth he put not forth, but checked 
His anger in mid- volley." 

Mr. Webster spoke a few words upon this question, 
but they were delivered with that grave impressive 


manner, resulting from conscious power. In a cause 
where the result was dependent upon loofical argument 
and profound knowledge of constitutional law, I should 
imagine that Mr. Webster would find few equals, and 
no superior, on either side of the Atlantic ; but, in 
directing the impulse and exciting the passions of a 
popular assembly, he is, probably, less successful than 
Mr. Clay. 

About this time a member of Congress died suddenly, 
in consequence of which the houses adjourned for 
two days. The respective members wore a crape on 
the arm, and the greater part attended his funeral. It ^ 
may not be irrelevant here to remark, that the death 
of a citizen in one of the Atlantic cities of the United 
States produces a greater sensation, and is accompanied 
with more demonstration of respect, than a similar 
event in any other country which I have seen. If a 
member of Congress dies, the houses adjourn, as above- 
mentioned ; if a weahhy and influential merchant dies, 
as was lately the case in Baltimore, his funeral is 
attended by great numbers of his fellow-citizens, inde- 
pendently ot his relatives : and even the flags of the 
shipping in harbour are hoisted half-mast high. Simi- 
lar instances might be adduced in other walks of life. 

At the public funeral of the member of congress 
above-mentioned, an attempt was made upon the life 
of the President, the failure of which can only be at- 
tributed to a Providential interference, such as the scep- 
tic may deny, or the thoughtless worldling may ridi- 
cule, but which is at the same time more consonant 
with religion and reason than a belief m the wonderful 
coincidence of fortuitous circumstances, necessary to 
produce the same result. The wretch who attempted 
this murder (and who appears to labour under that 
dangerous kind of insanity which just trembles upon 
the verge of responsibility,) stood only a few feet from 
the President, under the portico of the Capitol. He 
deliberately snapped a pistol at him, which missed fire, 
and before his arm could be arrested, he drew another 
from his pocket, snapped it, and it also missed fire, 
when he was knocked down and secured. On exam- 


ination it was found, that both pistols were new, both 
carefully loaded with ball and g-ood powder ; yet both 
the detonating caps exploded without igniting the 
charofo. I had this account from several gentlemen, 
who were close to the President at the time ; and on 
the trial which followed, it was established and re- 
corded by legal process. Let the " Doctrinaries" of 
chance account for it as they can. 

The old General showed his ancient and undoubted 
courage upon the occasion. When the first pistol was 
snapped at him, he looked straight at, and icent straight 
towards the wretch who held it ; and when the second 
was presented, he never swerved, but attacked his op- 
ponent with a stout stick, which he usually carries. — 
Had not a blow from some other hand anticipated his 
intention, he would probably have spared the law the 
trouble of investigating the matter. 

It is singular how little noise or feeling the occur- 
rence seems to have excited, except in the shameless 
and villainous instance of one or two scribblers in the 
government newspapers, who wished to attiibute the 
attempt at assassination to the effect produced by the 
speeches of Mr. Calhoun. The character of that gen- 
tleman needs no defence or refutation of such calum- 
nies. He is indeed one of the most distinguished men 
in the Union. His name is familiar to Europe as the 
great champion of the Southern States, and the pillar 
of that nullification question which threatened atone 
time to dismember the confederation. His manner is 
lofty and commanding ; his eye, searching, keen, and 
deeply set under a considerate brow. He is an acute 
reasoner, and the analytic power of his mind is most 
remarkable. Some there are who consider him as a 
more eminent statesman than either Clay or Webster : 
this is a question that I do not feel able or called upon 
to decide. That they are all three men of whom 
America has just reason to be proud, is a truth to which 
I have much pleasure in here recording my testimony. 

On the 2d of February I went to visit the tomb of 
the illustrious Washington, at Mount Vernon, where 
he resided chiefly daring the last few years of his life. 


It is situated on the banks of the Potomac, about six- 
teen miles below the Capital. The road thither, as far 
as Alexandria, is tolerably good ; but the last eight 
miles partake of the usual Virginian variety of holes, 
stones, and mud. Indeed, it appears as if the Ameri- 
can pilgrims to the tomb of their great founder had 
determined to self-inflict the penances imposed upon 
the Catholic devotees going to the shrine of a patron 
saint ; except that the peas in the shoes of the latter, 
even if unboiled, are far preferable to the neck-twisting 
rib-breaking jolts voluntarily endured by the former. 
However, 1 speak rather from what I saw than from 
what I felt, inasmuch as I, and several others of the 
party, went on horseback. 

The situation of Mount Vernon is on a pleasant em- 
inence, commanding a view of the river ; the grounds 
about the house are undulating and well wooded. 
Altogether it must be a very agreeable summer resi- 
dence. Everything is left, as nearly as possible, in the 
same state as when it was occupied by its great pos- 
sessor. The books, the writing-table, the small ver- 
andah, where he used to walk ; the key of the Bastile, 
sent him by La Fayette — all remain unaltered and un- 
removed, as if he had died but yesterday ; and all con- 
tribute to interest the observer, by admitting him, in 
fancy, to an intimacy with the illustrious hero, while 
they bear collateral evidence to that unostentatious sim- 
plicity of character justly assigned to him by history. 

Leaving the house, we went out towards the tomb 
where his ashes repose ; and I shall not soon forget the 
overwhelminof feelinofs with which I viewed it. We 
were first shown the spot where his remains had been 
deposited previously to their removal to their present 
situation, — a melancholy mound of earth, shadowed 
by a few cypresses, the hollow void within scarcely 
protected by a scanty grating from the desecrations of 
ignorant childhood, idle mischief, or filthy vermin ! 
The spot to which his remains have within the last 
few years been removed, is a vault in the side of a bank, 
also shadowed by a few dwarf shrubs, and protected 
from the air by an iron door. The building, iil it can 

106 Washington's tomb. 

be called one, is amiserable looking brick hovel. Over 
the door is an inscription from the Bible — respectable 
and venerable on that account, bat as applicable to the 
humblest peasant, as to the great sleeper beneath. 

I hope I do not attach any improper importance nor 
any bigotted reverence to mere sepulchral decoration 
or magnificence ; still I own that I could not here re- 
press my feelings of indignation and disgust ! The 
memory of Washington is dear to, and revered by, not 
only America, but mankind ; and mankind had a right, 
according to all the rules of good taste, good feeling, 
and good example, to expect, either that the illustrious 
dust should have been allowed to remain in the sim- 
ple mound where it first slept, shadowed by the melan- 
choly boughs that first waved over it, and hallowing the 
soil where it had first sought repose from the cares of 
life : or, if it had been removed, it should have been to 
a sepulchre worthy of its name and glory, and not to a 
wretched vault, to which it is no exaggeration to affirm, 
that a British nobleman would have been almost asha- 
med to consign the remains of a faithful old depen- 
dant ! 

It is vain here to urge the well-known and splendid 
truths that have been uttered over the spots consecrated 
by departed greatness. To no one who ever lived is 
the glorious Periclean eulogy of liuda y7\ rucpog more 
applicable than to Washington ; nor is the celebrated 
inscription in St. Paul's to Tts architect, " Si monumen- 
tum, requiris circumspice," less so. These sentiments 
merely prove that the fame and glory of the illustrious 
dead can neither be diminished nor tarnished by the 
neglect of their countrymen : but does that palliate or 
excuse such neglect? I am aware that some reasons 
are adduced in justification of the conduct here censur- 
ed. The public is informed, that it was W^ashington's 
wish that his remains might be deposited in a particu- 
lar place, and that his family are not sufficiently opu- 
lent to raise a worthy monument to his memory. These 
are but shallow pretexts, or, at best, groundless argu- 
ments : the commands of the living, in such cases, are 
binding only on their immediate relations, and during 


the freshness of their grief; after which disobedience 
to thein may be an incumbent duty. With this good 
and holy purpose America should, after a decent time, 
have exceeded the injunctions of her parent, and her 
filial disobedience would have been applauded by the 
luiiversal consent of mankind. 

About this time I read in a New Orleans newspa- 
per the following occurrence, illustrative of the state of 
society in Louisiana : — '• On the 3rd of February 1835, 
a little before the usual time of the meeting of the House 
of Representatives, Mr. J. Grymes, a distinguished law- 
yer of New Orleans, entered the hall ; and advancing 
towards Mr. Labranche, the Speaker of the House, 
raised his cane and struck him ; whereupon Mr. L. 
drew a pistol, and fired at Mr. G. the ball passed through 
the lappet of his coat ; he immediately drew a pistol, 
and fired at Mr. L. who fell wounded. After a long 
dispute as to the right of the house to try Mr. G. for 
this assault, it was carried in the aflirmative, and he 
was brought up to the bar and reprimanded P^ 

The month of March having now arrived ; and as 
the rivers had become navigable, and the roads were 
supposed to be passable, I began to meditate an excur- 
sion to Richmond and other parts of Virginia. The 
Congress had broken up on the 4th, and with it tlie bus- 
tle and gaiety of Washington society. Every day an- 
nounced new departures ; and the scattered village, de- 
nominated a city, began to assume the silent and me- 
lancholy appearance which is natural to its construc- 
tion, and which is only partially cheered by the stirring 
season of congress. In truth it is impossible to imagine 
a more comfortless situation for a town, or a town more 
foolishly and uncomfortably laid out. The houses are 
small, and their walls thin ; the streets are so broad as 
to render the insignificant appearance of the buildings 
more remarkable ; and the dust in dry weather is only 
to be equalled in annoyance by the filth and mud after 
rain. The only tolerable street is the Pennsylvania 
Avenue, which is above a mile long, and is the best 
piece of macadamized road in the United States ; but 
they appear never to scrape the dust off ; and 


I have been more nearly blinded and choked there, after 
three days of dry weather in March, than I have been in 
Rotten Rowon a Sunday in June ; though in the former 
case the dust was raised by one solitary hackney-coach, 
aud the latter was the joint production of horses and 
carriages to be counted by thousands. 

Mauy streets are in embryo, many only in prescience, 
or rather imagination, where their existence will pro- 
bably terminate as it began. Paradise-row must be 
content to be " represented'' by one small brick shop or 
store — Pleasant-place, by two groceries and a livery- 
stable — while Prospect-place may, with its two or three 
separate and humble tenements, continue to look over 
the damp swampy flat extending from the town to the 

The o^reater part of the site of Washington is proba- 
bly the bottom of an old lake, of which the Capitol Hill 
formed one of the borders ; and though the preceding 
names are jestingly adduced, the joke is not very far 
from the truth. The inhabitants seem to have persist- 
ed, in defiance equally of experience and common sense 
in believing that their city was one day to become the 
centre of wealth and commerce, as it is of legislation ; 
and appeared to overlook the trifling impediments that 
the soil of all the neighbouring country is wretchedly 
poor, that the channel of the Potomac is so shallow that 
neither merchant ship nor frigate, nor any craft of five 
hundred tons burthen, can come up to their harbour of 
George-town ; and that, moreover, they must compete 
with the neighbouring wealthy and flourishing town of 

In pursuance of their commercial dreams, they have 
carried on a canal, parallel for many miles witli the 
stream of the Potomac, upon borrowed Dutch capital ; 
the interest of which they are unable to pay without a 
yearly begging petition to Congress, who will in the 
end be obliged also to pay the principal.* 

♦ I liave been informed that the rivalry and jealousy between the two 
towns of Alexandria and George-iown was the real cause of the present 
location of the capital, each ot them wishing; to become the seat of govern- 
ment. Either ol ihem would iii fact, be much more desirable situations : 


The funds for defraying the ordinary mimicipai ex- 
penses, such as constables, street-paving, lighting, (fee. 
are raised by assessment on the inhabitants, imposed 
by the corporation, amounting upon an average to 
three-quarters of one per cent, on the property of each 
individual. This method is very commonly practised 
in America, and appears, in political phrase, to " work 
very well." 

What renders this tax peculiarly heavy in Washing- 
ton is, that the city is laid out in lots, four-fifths of 
which are unoccupied and totally profitless. These 
are valued, rated, and assessed by the corporation, as 
if they were built upon and paid a rent. The only 
appeal from their assessment is to themselves, in ano- 
ther form of sitting; the redress to be obtained, and 
the equity observed, may be estimated by those who 
knew the working of the old burgh system in Scotland. 
'' In fact, the town of Washington was overwhelmed by 
debt, and the greater part of it mortgaged to different 
banks, before they subscribed the million dollars to the 
great canal. Consequently, the few who possessed 
any property free of debt voted against that subscrip- 
tion, knowing that the weight of it must fall upon 
them ; but the majority, whose property was already 
mortgaged, and who had nothing, were of course 
liberal" and " patriotic" subscribers on the occasion. 
In fact, it may be safely afiirmed, that unless Congress 
pays the debt, the whole city of Washington (with the 
exception of the Capitol Hill and other lots belonging 

one from its commercial advantages, the other from its greater facility to 
inland communication and trade. As their disputes were irreconcilable 
the capital was placed between them. I can scarcely conceive how the 
public, and the able men who then guided it, should allow their decision 
on so important a question to be influenced by the jealousies of these small 
towns ; but my informant (Mr. L.) was a distinguished lawyer and sena- 
tor, and his account deserves record. I cannot help believing that it was 
the intention of those who founded the Capital that it never should be a 
great manufacturing or commercial city, from a fear of its acquiring too 
great an influence, moral or physical, over the public councils. The re- 
ports that have attributed its situation to the personal motives of General 
"Washington, false and -malignant as they are, drop harmless from the 
rocky integrity of his character. 


110 TAXE^. 

to the public) must soon be for sale, and be the pro^ 
perty of the Dutch bankers. 

But let it not be supposed that the Washingtonians, 
or other citizens of America, are subject only to this 
trifling tax ; there are, in atldition, taxes on hackney- 
coaches, taxes on tavern-licenses, taxes on dogs, and 
others, which raise almost as fine a crop of grumblers 
and complainers as the assessed taxes in Britain can 
produce. I remember talking to an intelligent Ameri- 
can farmer upon the subject of public burthens ; and, 
upon comparing the sum paid by him in proportion to 
the yearly profit of his farm, I calculated that it was 
much in the same ratio with that paid by a farmer in 
the north of England or south of Scotland. Nor are 
the other circumstances connected with his position so 
much more favourable to the American farmer as they 
would appear to a superficial observer. He can buy 
his horses cheaper, his food cheaper, his land cheaper, 
and his taxes, direct and indirect, are lower ; but his 
shoes, and linen, and cloth, are dearer and worse in 
quality ; his labour is dearer ; his farming utensils are 
also dearer : in fact, the chief advantage which he en- 
joys can scarcely be termed such in fair or philosophi- 
cal language, namely, he can (and frequently does) 
exhaust his land, by demanding from it a perpetual 
succession of strong crops ; knowing that when he 
has worked it out he can take in more in his neigh- 
bourhood, or move off to the West, where the proceeds 
of sale, even of his exhausted farm, will enable him to 
purchase as much of the finest soil in the world as he 
can attempt to cultivate. 

Of course, these remarks only apply, in comparison, 
to the proprietary class of farmers in England, who 
are much fewer in number than those who pay rent. 
This is a separate branch of the subject, and cannot be 
touched upon here, as it depends altogether on the 
amount of rent in proportion to profit or produce. 
That there are profits, is undoubtedly true ; but they 
are not so high, nor so enviable, as they are usually 
represented. Nor does the American occupant of four 
hundred acres of the best land spend more upon the 
comforts and luxuries of life, than the occupant of two 


hundred acres of similar land in Yorkshire or in the 
Lothians, — although the produce of his farm returns 
him nominally twelve per cent, for his invested capi- 
tal : that of the British farmer scarcely six, exclusive 
of expenses. 

This question requires a closer examination of de- 
tail than can be expected in a narrative like this, be- 
fore its discussion can lead to any useful result ; espe- 
cially as the soil, climate, public burthens, price of 
labour, and other circumstances, vary so widely in the 
different states, that an estimate formed accurately in 
Virginia or Massachusetts will be quite erroneous if 
applied to Ohio or Michigan. 

The American agriculturists seem to have little local 
attachment. A New Englander or Yirginian, though 
proud and vain of his state, will move off to Missouri 
or Illinois, and leave the home of his childhood with- 
out any visible effort or symptom of regret, if by so 
doing he can make ten dollars where he before made 
eight. I have seen such repeated instances of this 
that I cannot help considering it a national feature. 

How different this is from the Scottish character 
may be gathered from the fact that a band of high- 
landers, of the Cameron and other Jacobite clans, left 
Scotland, after the rebellion of '45, and settled in Vir- 
ginia. They were so rmmerous, that for many years 
afterwards the local courts were obliged to have a 
Gaelic interpreter, in order to carry on the requisite 
business in regard to witnesses and juries ; and although 
the place where they fixed their abode was cheerless 
in appearance and the soil very poor, they have by 
perseverance and industry improved and rendered it 
comfortable ; and are as unwilling to quit, that spot, in 
search of the fertile plains of the Mississippi, as they 
were to leave their original country. 



Quit Washington for a Tour in Virginia. — Voyage down the Potomac 
in the Champion Steamer. — Land Journey to Fredericksburgh. — 
Wretched Road. — Arrival at Fredericksburgh, — The Town. — House 
of Judge Coalter — hospitable Reception by that Gentleman. — Wiiters 
in the Public Press. — Journey from Fredericksburgh to Richmond. — 
Perpetual Danger of being upset. — Arrival at Richmond. — The 
Town — its Society. — Judge Marshall — his House. — Ladies of Rich-' 
mond. — Embark on the James River. — Intermarriages of the Resi- 
dents on its Shores. — Plantations cultivated by Slaves. — Treatment 
of the Slaves. — Necessity for corporal Punishment. — Expense of 
keeping Slaves. — The Negro Character. — Domestic and farm-labour- 
ing Slaves. — Overseers. — Marriage of Slaves — their Religion. — 
Agriculture on the Banks of James River. — Law of Primogeniture. 
— Embark in |the Patrick Henry Steamer. — Region visited by Sir 
Walter Raleigh. — Cruelty of early Settlers. — James-town. — Indif- 
ference of the American People to sepulchral Relics. — Ruins of the 
former Governor's Palace.^ — College endowed by William and Mary. 
— New Fortification at Old Point. — Arrival at Norfolk. — Bay_of the 
Chesapeake. — Return to Washington. 

On the 27ih of March I quitted Washington, to make 
a short tour in the districts of Virginia adjacent to the 
James river; comprising Richmond, the present capital, 
WilHamsburgh, the former seat of colonial government^ 
Norfolk, and other towns. 

The first part of the journey is by steam-boat, descend- 
ing the Potomac about sixty miles. The banks of this 
river, after passing Mount Vernon, are uninteresting, and 
I did not regret the speed of the Champion, which per- 
formed that distance in somewhat less than five hours ; 
but this rate of travelling was amply neutralized by the 
movement of the stage which conveyed me from the 
landing-place to Fredericksburgh. I was informed that 
the distance was only twelve miles, and I was weak 
enough (in spite of my previous experience) to imagine 
that two hours would bring me thither, especially as the 
stage was drawn by six good nags, and driven by a live- 
ly cheerful fellow ; but the road bade defiance to all 
these advantages — it was, indeed, such as to compel me 
to laugh outright,. n.otwilhstaiiding the constant and se- 


vere bumping to which it subjected both the intellectual 
and sedentary parts of my person. 

I had before tasted the sweets of mud-holes, huge 
stones, and remnants of pine-trees, standing and cut 
down ; but here was something new, namely, a bed of 
reddish-coloured clay, from one to two feet deep, so ad- 
hesive that the wheels were at times literally not visible in 
any one spot from the box to the tire, and the poor horses' 
feet sounded, when they drew them out (as a fellow- 
traveller observed), like the report of a pistol. I am 
sorry that I w^as not sufficiently acquainted with che- 
mistry or mineralogy to analyze that wonderful clay, and 
state its constituent parts ; but if I were now called upon 
to give a receipt for a mess most nearly resembling it, 
I would write, " Recipe — (nay, I must write the ingre- 
dients in English, for fear of taxing my Latin learning 
too severely) — 

OrJinary clay . . , 1 lb. 

Do. Pitch . . . 1 lb. 

Bird-lime . . . , 6- oz. 

Putty . . . . 6 oz. 

Glue . . . . 1 lb. 

Red Lead, or colouring matter . 6 oz. 

Fait haustus — cegrot. terq. quaterq. quatiend." 

Whether the foregoing, with a proper admixture of 
hills, holes, stumps, and rocks, made a satisfactory 
draught or not, I will refer to the unfortunate team — T, 
alas ! can answer for the effectual application of the 
second part of the prescription, according to the Joe 
Miller version of " When taken, to be well shaken !" 

I arrived, however, without accident or serious bodily 
injury, at Fredericksburgh, having been only three hours 
and a half in getting over the said twelve miles ; and, in 
justice to the driver, I must say that I very much doubt 
whether any crack London whip could have driven those 
horses over that ground in the same time : there is not 
a sound that can emanate from human lungs, nor an ar- 
gument of persuasion that can touch the feelings of a 
horse, that he did not employ, with a perseverance and 
success which commanded my admiration. 


Fredericksburgh is prettily situated on the banks of the 
Rappahannoc, which flows nearly round it. It does not 
seem a very busy or thriving place, although the dis- 
covery, which has lately been made, of gold in the 
neighbouring mountains, has called a mining company 
into existence, and may, if it realizes their expectation, 
increase the importance and wealth of the town beyond 
calculation. As I was not able to visit the mines, and 
am, moreover, no mineralogist, I am unable to calculate 
the probabilities of the case ; but certainly, many of the 
specimens shown to me by the Secretary of the company 
indicated a great abundance of the precious metals. 

A wooden bridge is thrown across the river, on the 
opposite bank of which stands Chatham, the house of 
Judge Coalter. It is beautifully situated on an eminence, 
a-&mmanding a view of the town, and of the bold sweep- 
ing course of the Rappahannoc, whose wanderings the eye 
may trace up to Falmouth, a pretty village, where they 
are made to lend their aid to some extensive flour-mills^ 
established by Mr. Gordon, a Scottish proprietor, and 
one of the richest (as I am informed) in Virgina. 

The first glance at Mr. Coalter^s house impressed me 
■with the idea that it was of anti-revolutionary date : the 
old brown-coloured bricks, the strait green walks in the 
terraced garden, and the formal grenadier row of stately 
poplars, all betokened the old dominion. The family 
not being at heme, T asked, and obtained, permission to 
view the river and valley from the garden, which I enjoyed 
with much pleasure for some time. As I was on the 
point of retiring the judge returned, and politely interrupt- 
ed my apologies for intrusion by an invitation to go in 
and take a glass of Madeira, Agreeably to this hospita- 
ble arrangement, I entered a small entrance-hall^ floored 
wiih polished pine boards ; the wainscotting of the par- 
lour attracted my notice, when the Judge informed me, 
that the house was of that date which I supposed, and 
had been built by a Mr. Fitzhugh, well known at the 

Judge Coalter is a favourable, but not unfrequent 
specimen of the best class of American elderly gentle- 
aitn f lie is plain, courteous, and hospitable in his man- 


ner, well-informed on agricultural subjects, and with a 
high reputation as a lawyer. Having begun with that 
melancholy cypher 0, for his fortune, he has the merit 
of having raised himself by his ability, industry, and in- 
tegrity, to the highest rank in his profession, and enjoys, 
in his retirement, the respect and esteem of all his neigh- 
bours. These estimable qualities are lodged in a fornfi 
that seemed well calculated to resist the attacks of time 
or disease, and are portrayed in a countenance combin- 
ing, with singular force, frankness, energy, and shrewd- 
ness. I regretted much my inability to avail myself of 
the extended hospitality which he urgently pressed upon 

In Fredericksburgh I also received polite attentions 
from the editor of a Whig newspaper, to whom I had an 
introduction, and was agreeably surprised by finding in 
him a candid and liberal tone of mind, great gentleness 
of character, and a regard to religion amounting to what 
would be called in England " evangelism.^ How strange 
that 'such a term should be used in a Christian country 
to convey reproach ! These qualities are, with a few 
honourable exceptions, very rare among the writers in 
the public press in America. 

On leaving Fredericksburgh for Richmond, by the 
stage, I was warned of the bad state of the roads; 
but, encouraged by what I had already gone through 
in safety, I smiled at such perils ; and confiding in the 
stout setting of my bones, resigned myself without fear 
to a vehicle, in which I formed the ninth passenger, and 
which promised to reach Richmond in twelve hours, the 
distance being about sixty or seventy miles. As we be- 
gan the journey at two p. w., we hoped to conclude it 
about the same hour in the morning. 

After jolting some eiglit miles in two hours, I began to 
doubt the calculation of speed ; that of safety was placed 
agreeably beyond all doubt, by meeting the stage from 
Richmond, containing several passengers with their 
heads bandaged with blood-stained napkins. We found, 
on inquiry, that they had been upset only once, and had 
received these cuts and contusions. I congratulated my- 


self on being in this " safely" line, as the opposition, or 
mail-stage, had upset twice that same night, thereby 
proving ihat our chance of escape with life and unbroken 
limbs was two to one greater than that of our mail-com- 

It is needless to dwell on the horrors of that night : it 
was found impossible to drag the load of passengers and 
luggage through the mud ; we were consequently divid- 
ed into two stages ; and I heard the negro who drove the 
last, which contained my valuable person, say, as he 
mounted the box at nightfall, " I hope we shan't up^zY, 
as I ha'nt driv' this road this two month." Under his 
experimental guidance we certainly did receive such a 
jolting as I had never supposed a carriage capable of 
enduring ; and the courage with which he led it on to 
charge stumps and trees, and to plunge into mud-holes, 
in the dark, excited my admiration. It called forth, how- 
ever, other feelings from one of my companions, who 
vented his alarm and anger in a variety of expressions, 
which would have formed a valuable supplement to any 
dictionary of malediction or blasphemy. We arrived 
only four or five hours after the time appointed, and I 
felt nearly as much relieved as when my foot first touch- 
ed the shore of Fayal. The description here given of 
this road is not overdrawn. I will defy pen, pencil, 
or malice to do it; and it must be remembered, that it 
is the great high road (1835) from the capital of Virginia 
to the seat of the Federal Government. 

Richmond is very prettily situated on the James 
river (or, as it is used to be called, the Powhatan) ; the 
principal streets run parallel to its course; and the town 
is built on ground that undulates gently in some places, 
and rises gradually as it recedes from the water, till the 
eye rests on the Capitol and other public buildings, 
which crown the summit of the centre hill. It is a busy 
flourishing town, containing about eighteen thousand in- 
habitants, of which the white and black population arc 
in nearly equal proportions. The principal exports con- 
sists of wheat and tobacco, both of which are produced 
in the neighbourhood, of the very best quality; the for 


mer is sent chiefly to the islands and to Rio Janeiro ; 
the latter all over the world. The present piice of 
wheat is about a dollar a bushel.* 

I had read so much extravagant praise of the beauty 
of Richmond, that I was somewhat disappointed ; never- 
theless the view of the city, the rapids, interspersed with 
thousands of Lilliputian islands, and the wooded hills in 
the back-ground, form a very pleasing picture. The 
society numbers among its members some of the most 
distinguished men in the Union ; their friendly attention 
and hospitality to me warrant my assertion, that their 
private and social qualities are by no means inferior to 
their high public reputation. The names of Judge Mar- 
shall, B. W. Leigh, and Mr. Wickham, are familiar to all 
who have taken any interest in American law or politics. 

Judge Marshal, who is Chief Justice of the Supreme 
Court, and, in fact, Lord Chancellor of the United 
States, is one of the most remarkable and distinguished 
men that has adorned the legislature of either shore of 
the Atlantic. He began liTe as a soldier ; and, during 
the American war, served in the militia, where he rose 
to the rank of general : after which he came to the bar, 
and passed through all its gradations to his present high 
situation, which, is, in my opinion, the proudest that an 
American can enjoy, not excepting that of president ; in- 
asmu€h'as it is less subject " arbitrio popularis aurae :^'^ 
and as the court over which he presides can affirm and 
decide what is and what is not the constitution of the 
United Slates. The judge is a tall venerable man, about 
eighty years of age, his hair tied in a cue,^ according to 
olden custom, and with a countenance indicating that sim-. 
plicity of mind and benignity which so eminently distin-. 
guish his character. As a judge he has no rival, liis 
knowledge being profound, his judgment clear and just, 
and his quickness in apprehending either the fallacy or 
truth of an argument as surprising. T had the pleasure 
of several long conversations with him, and was struck 
with admiration at the extraordinary union of modesty 

* Nearly the same price at which it was sold by our heavily taxed 
fariQers in the English market at this date. 


and power, gentleness and force, which his mind dis- 
plays. What he knows he communicates without re- 
serve ; he speaks with a clearness of expression, and in 
a tone of simple truth, which compel conviction ; and 
on all subjects on which his knowledge is not certain^ or 
which admit of doubt or argument, he delivers his opin- 
ion with a candid diffidence, and with a deference for 
that of others, amounting almost to timidity ; still, it is a 
timidity which would disarm the most violent opponent, 
and win respect and credence from any auditor. I re- 
member having often observed a similar characteristic 
attributed to the immortal Newton. The simplicity of 
his character is not more singular than that of his life ; 
pride, ostentation, and hypocrisy are " Greek to him ;" and 
he really lives up to the letter and spirit of republicanism, 
while he maintains all the dignity due to his age and 

His house is small and more humble in appearance 
than those of the average of successful lawyers or mer- 
chants. I called three times upon him ; there is no bell 
to the door : once I turned the handle of it, and walked 
in unanounced ; on the other two occasions he had seen 
me coming, and had lifted the latch and received me at 
the door, although he was at the time suffering from 
some very severe contusions received in the stage while 
travelling on that road from Fredericksburg to Rich- 
mond, which I have before described. I verily believe 
there is not a particle of vanity in his composition, unless 
it be of that venial and hospitable nature which induces 
him to pride himself on giving to his friends the best 
glass of Madeira in Virginia. In short, blending, as he 
does, the simplicity of a child and the plainness of a re- 
publican with the learning and ability of a lawyer, the 
venerable dignity of his appearance would not suffer in 
comparison with that of the most respected and distiu's 
guished-looking peer in the British House of Lords.* 

I speht a week very pleasantly in Richmond. At the 
tables of the three gentlemen before-mentioned, I met 

* The honoured subject of the foregoing remarks has since paid the 
debt of nature ; but I hare left them as they were originally entered in 
my journal. 


most agreeable and well-informed society, and received 
attentions more marked than I either expected or felt 
myself entitled to. Although the gay season was over, 
the attractions presented by several of the ladies' draw- 
ing-rooms were such as to make me regret the necessity 
for a speedy departure. Indeed, it is easy to observe in 
Richmond the different shades of character between the 
belles of Virginia -and those of New England ; if the 
latter are more polished and well-informed, the former 
are more frank, natural, and unrestrained, and the smile 
which lightens from the face of the one, warms and 
gladdens from that of the other. This difference would 
be more marked than it is were it not for the wide preva- 
lence among parents in Virginia, and both the Carolinas, 
of the custom of sending their daughters to be educated 
in New York and Boston, where they can have better 
masters, and are removed from the febrile danger of the 
Southern summer. 

On the 9th of April 1 left Richmond, and embarked 
on the James river, the banks of which received the 
first settlers that Britain sent across the Atlantic, whose 
melancholy fate is too well known to require narration. 
The morning was fine, and the view of the receding city 
extremely beautiful. The banks of the river are gene- 
rally well wooded and cultivated, and every now and then 
is seen a country-house more resembling those in Eng- 
land than any which I had hitherto observed. 

I availed myself with much pleasure of the hospitable 
offers of one or two gentlemen, whose acquaintance I 
had made in Richmond, of paying them a visit. I dis- 
embarked accordingly about sixty miles down the river, 
and received a kind welcome in the house of one of the 
oldest families in the state. Here I remained four or 
five days ; and if the wishes of the friendly and excel- 
lent host, or of his guest, had been alone to be consulted 
I might have remained there as many weeks, so agreea- 
ble was the domestic circle in which I found myself, 
and so pressing were the invitations to prolong my stay. 
In Virginia as in England, a country-house is a very 
hothouse of acquaintance, and ripens it much earher 


than the common garden of society ; and the hospitality 
of Virginia is deservedly celebrated. 

Proceeding down the river about fifteen miles, I paid 
another visit to two gentlemen, brothers, who were con- 
nections of my former host. Indeed, a great many of 
the residents on the James river are, from intermarriage 
and division of old estates, mutually connected ; and the 
cousinship of the old families of the Birds, Carters, 
Randolphs, and Harrisons, are almost as widely extend- 
ed as a similar relation in the highlands of Scotland. 
They seem upon the most friendly terms — are constantly 
interchanging visits, without ceremony or invitation ; and 
their hospitality to strangers is not surpassed in any 
country that I have seen. Here, too, I saw again walls 
adorned with the powdered heads and laced coats of our 
common ancestors. I sat at dinner beneath the sweet 
smile of Pope's Miss Blount, from the pencil of Sir G. 
Kneller ; while Lord Orrery, Lord Albermarle, and the 
Duke of Argyle, frowned from canvass of respectable 
antiquity. The allusion was carried yet farther by the 
Anglicism of the names of their residences — such as 
Shirley, Brandon, Berkeley, &c. 

As these were the first plantations, or farms, which I 
had as yet seen cultivated on a large scale by slave- 
labour, I naturally paid much attention to the appearance 
of the land and its cultivators. I shall not interrupt this 
narrative portion of my journal by any remarks on the 
general question of slavery, but shall confine myself to 
a simple record of the facts which came under my 
observation during this excursion, reserving to another 
occasion the discussion of a subject which is confessedly 
the most important, the most disagreeable, and the most 
diflScult that can engage the attention either of the poli- 
tician or the moralist in the United Slates. 

From what 1 had already seen of the social qualities 
of the gentlemen at whose houses I was a visiter, I was 
rather gratified than surprised to witness the comparative 
comfort and good usage enjoyed by their slaves. The 
huts in which they reside are constructed of wood, and 
divided in the centre by a compartment, in which is 
fixed a chimney, to rouvey the smoke from each divi- 


sion ; their food (consisting chiefly of fish, broth, maize 
cooked after various fasfiions, bacon, &c.) is wholesome 
and sufficient: their clothing, coarse, but suited to their 
necessities and to the cHmaie : their labour compulsory 
and constant, but not beyond their power. During the 
days that I spent in the neighbourhood, T did not see v" 
any corporal punishment; but each overseer was armed 
with a cowhide ; and one, with wl)om 1 held a long 
conversation regarding the detail of his occupation, in- 
formed me, that he was obliged constantly to use the 
lash, both to the men and women : that some he whip- 
ped four or five limes a-week, some only twice or thrice 
a-month : that all attempts to make them work regularly 
by advice or kindness were unavailing, for their general 
character was stubborn idleness ; and that many who 
were cheerful, and even appeared attached to the family, 
would not work without occasional hints from the 
cowhide. He owned he was extremely sorry thai the 
race existed in Virginia, destroying as they must the 
markei for the white man's labour; adding his conviction 
that liis employer's estate would, produce more clear 
revenue if every negro were removed from the slate, 
and the property divided into farms under lease. The 
grounds for this opinion, were the heavy original outlay 
in the purchase of slaves (the price of an able-bodied 
maie being, at an average, 150/.), — the expense of their 
maintenance — the perpetual losses incurred by their dy- 
ing, running away, falling sick, and other casualties, the 
weight of which in free countries falls upon the labourer. 

It is doubtless true that all these causes, taken 
together, render slave-labour less cheap and profitable to 
the proprietor than it is sometimes assumed to be ; but 
there is also a fact usually advanced bv the slave-holders 
in this district which must not be passed over, and the 
truth of which cannot be altogether denied, natnely, that 
the banks of the James river are extremely unhealthy 
durincj the harvest and hot months, and it is very doubtful 
whether white labourers (who suffer much more severely 
than negroes from bilious and other local fevers) could 
perform the work requisite during the summer; so that 
the choice must lie between slavery and free-black labour, 

Vol. L— L 


of which last the Virginians speak as an impracticable 
theory. I'hat, however, remains to be proved ; and as 
the experiment has been made elsewhere upon a great 
scale, It is surely more philosophical lo wail and observe, 
ralher than conjecture or anlicipaie the result. The 
general experience of the past seems lo warrant the 
assertion, that the motives of cleanliness, comfi>rt, and 
independence are seldom, if ever, strong enough to pre- 
vail upon ihe negro to labour ; and ihal no inducements 
suiiicienily strong can be found, excepting necessity and 

It is to be feared that such will continue to be their 
character, until it shall have been changed by education 
and by gradual improvement in their nrjental and moral 
condition ; indeed, ihe contrariely of slavery to the laws 
of nature can scarcely receive stronger confirmation than 
it does from the fact, that it is necessarily associaied 
wiih, and dependent for its existence upon, the grossest 
ignorance and degradation of mind. AH civilized na- 
tions agree in the great maxims, that knowledge is the 
power of man — liberty his unalienable right — improve- 
ment his object ; and yet here is a condition utterly in- 
compatible with the first dawnings of knowledge — the 
first principles of liberiy — the first step in the march of 
improvement ! 

The abject submission and ignorance necfssary to the 
continuance of slavery may be easily gathered from ihe 
following statement: — The farms of two gentlemen 
whom 1 visited occupied ihe whole of a peninsula formed 
by the James river: they had each two overseers : thus 
(their families being young) the effective strength of 
white men on their estates amounted to six: the negroes 
were in number about two hundred and fifty: nor was 
there a village or place within many miles from which 
assistance could be summoned. Let the reader only 
imagine the scene that must have ensued, had some of 
these blacks, whde smarting under the pain of the lash, 
been taught the first crude notions of natural right, or 
been awakened to the first consciousness of their power, 
or l)een excited to one feeling of indifrnation or revenge 
strong enough to overcome the habitual terror of the 


cowhide ! Hence it is not difficult to understand how 
justly the slaveholders urge the necessity of keeping 
from their slaves all glimpses of knowledge or liberiy 
upon the ground of self-preservation ; and thus the best 
apology for slavery furnishes the best evidence of its 
inhuman unholy nature. 

But 10 return to the plantations on James river. There 
is a wide difference between the respective condiiions of 
the domestic and the farm-labouring slave; the former 
has, in many insiances, been brongfit up under the same 
roof vviih his owner — perhaps they have been playmates 
in early boyhood ; he has rarely, if ever, felt the lash ; 
and his respectability of demeanour and attachment to 
the family are characteristics which it is easy and plea- 
sant to observe ; his punishment when idle is generally 
confined to a scolding, and, if that fails, a tlireat to sell 
him will almost always reduce the most obstinate to obe- 
dience. But the farm-labouring slave is liiile brought 
into contact with his master, whose habitual feelings of 
humanity are, therefore, seldom excited in his favour: 
he is one of a gang from which, as from a team of 
horses, a certain quantum of labour is expected; he is 
entirely at the mercy of the overseer; and the merit of 
that functionary in the eyes of his employer being to 
extract the maximum of profit from the exertions of the 
slaves, he is apt to spare neither threats nor blows in the 
discharge of his office, and an appeal against him to the 
master is worse than hopeless, as the negro evidence is 
unheeded. The complainant, therefore, is well aware 
that, by accusing his oppressor, he woidd only draw 
upon himself redoubled severity or cruelty. These over- 
seers are generally men of harsh and unfeeling charac- 
ter, which every day spent in their disagreeable vocation 
must have a natural tendency to harden ; but I have 
never heard in the south-eastern states of their being 
guilty of the licentious atrocities of which they have 
been sometimes accused in Louisiana, and which cer- 
tainly are but too common among them in the West In- 
dia islands. 

The marriage of the slave is, of course, entirely at the 
option of the owner, by whom it is generally encouraged. 


If tlie wife belono: to a gang on an adjoining property, 
the husband is usually allowed lo visit iier from Satur- 
day night until Monday morning, and sometimes once 
aajain in the week from sunset until the following day- 
break : the children resulting from the marriage belong 
lo the owner of ihe mother. The sexual morality of the 
nef^roes (being unchecked by any notions of decency or 
propriety) would be even more lax than it is, were it not 
restrained by prohibitory regulations on the part of their 
owners, whose interest it is to prevent all irregularities 
which might interfere wiih the labour of the male, or the 
fecundity of the female slaves : let us hope, also, that 
some impose these restraints from belter and higher 

The religion of the negroes is such as might be ex- 
pected from the brutal state of ignorance in which they 
are brought up; the dignity, the responsibility, the im- 
mortality of man being unknown to them, their religion 
is a compound of super.-tiiion and absurdity, inculcating 
no virtue, dutv, or self-denial, and filling their heads with 
drivelling fruitless fancies ; they always prefer their own 
preachers (some brother-slave, whose vanity and volu- 
bility liave induced him to assume the omce) to any 
white minister ih.-ii can be offered to them; and the only 
definite article of belief that I could obtain from several 
whom I examined, was, that if adultery, theft, and mur- 
der were very bad, a few prayers soon expiated the of- 
fence, and the " man might start again as good as ever !" 

The soil on both banks of James river is naturally 
very fertile ; but it has been much exhausted by neglect 
and by over-cropping. A better system of agriculture is 
now introduced ; a triennial rotation is observed, consist- 
ing usually of wheat, Indian corn, and clover; fine beds 
of marie have lately been discovered of great extent, and 
the use of this, with shells and a free admixture of ani- 
mal and vegetable manure, is already producing evident 
and rapid improvement in the soil and in the crops. 
Most of the implements of husbandry are made on the 
farm ; the draiight cattle consist chiefly of small, lean, 
but hardy oxen, and stout mules, which are fed upon the 
coarsest refuse of the produce ; thus (with the exception 


of the value of the slave-labour) the outlay upon these 
farms is not by any means heavy in proportion to their 
return ; and were it not for the subdivision lo wliich, by 
the laws of the country, they are so frequently subjecied, 
these estates would maintain a comfortable and indepen- 
dent g'ntry. 

I suppose my American friends would call it British 
prejudice ; but f confess it often made me sad, in my 
journey through Virginia, lo see good substantial manor- 
houses, built while the law of primogeniture was in force, 
either untenanted or half inhabited, because none of the 
heirs of the sub-divided properly could afford to live in 
them. However, although 1 wdl not enter farther into 
the merils of that question here, I freely admit that I 
consider a law of primogeniture incompatible with re- 
publican iuLuiiuiions. 

On the 19ih of April, I bade adieu to mv kind hosts, 
and embarked again on James river for Williamsburgh, 
the former colonial seat of government. The steaujer 
in which I found myself was the " Patrick Henry I" 
The name of the extraordinary man, after whom it was 
so called, is familiar to all who are in any degree conver- 
sant wiih ihe history of the American revolution. How 
liltl*^ could he imagine, when he was stirring up the Vir- 
ginians to revoli, and fuhninaiing his eloquent denuncia- 
tions against their governor, who had proclaimed him 
outlaw and traitor, that in fifiy years his own country 
would be a mighiy independent empire, and the grand- 
son of ihat governor be received there as a traveller with 
kindness and ho.-pitality. 

The district through which T was now passing was the 
"Wingandacoa, mentioned as the first region visited by 
Sir VV. Raleigh on this coast : it is described by Pliilip 
Amydas, narrator of that expedition, as a " soile most 
plentiful, sweete, and wholesome of all other;" in proof 
of which the worthy captain states, " the come groweth 
three times in five moneih ; we put some of our pease 
in the groiinde, which in ten dayes were fourteen inches 
high !" I enireat the reader to take this statement upon 
the faith of Philip Amydas' veracity, and not of mine. 

It appears that, in 1585, Wingandacoa received the 


name of Virginia, and a second expedition was sent 
thiiher under ISir Richard Grenvill, Master Heriot, 
Layne, and others. Thuir first negotiations with the 
Indians seem to have been cnrried on in that spirit of 
intolerance and cruelty whicli has marked and disgraced 
the conduct of English, Spanish, and of all the civilized 
nations, in their intercourse with ignorant and helpless 
savages. Master Heriot's narrative abounds with illus- 
trations of this observation ; let one short sentence suf- 
fice : very soon after their landing, he says, "at Aquas- 
cogac, the Indians stole a silver cup, so we burnt their 
towne, and spoyled their corne," &c. When civilization 
and Christianity came to the ptor Indians, recommended 
by such acts of wanton atrocity as are recorded in the 
narratives written by the first European settlers them- 
selves, who can wonder that they should become objects 
of fear and hatred, rather than of adtriration and love t 
The speed of the Patrick Henry exceeded that of any 
steamer which I had seen in England or in America. She 
"went over seventy-six miles (with wind and tide in her 
favour) in foutr hours and twenty minutes precisely, in- 
cluding several short stoppages to land and take in pas- 
sengers. 1 landed at James Town, the now desolate 
spot, where the fathers of America first established them- 
selves on her shores : it is impossible to view it without 
interest and emotion, or to forget that from this acorn 
sprung the huge-spreading oak on which the American 
eagle has built her nest ! 

♦^ Time was when, settling on thy leaf, a fly 

C'uld shake thee to the roots — and time has been 
When tempests could not."* 

Nothing now remains of that parent settlement except- 
ing the ruiis of the church, which mark the place whence 
the lidings of Christianity were preached in the 
Western world. Here I regret to add, that the condi- 
tion both of the ruins and of the church-vard attest the 
indifference^ of the American people to sepulchral relics 
or monuments of antiquity. Instead of showing any 
reverence for this classic and holy ground (such, at least, 
it should be to them), the church has been allowed to fall 

♦Cowper's "Yardley Oak." 


to pieces — the grave-stones have been rudely torn from 
their places — llie marble .^labs broken and scaliered in 
every direction — the inscriptions and carved ornaments 
defaced — the church-yard wall torn down — nor is there 
the slightest remaining barrier to protect this, their ear- 
liest rehgioQs and ancestral monument, from the intru- 
sion of pigs and cattle, or the more disgraceful profana- 
tion of human mischief and curiosity! 

Some may think this a light and trivial matter — I can- 
not agree witli them : it appears tome an amiable, if not 
an instinctive feeling in our nature, to have a regard to 
all the concerns, the habits, the deeds, as well as the 
houses and more material relics of our forefathers ; how 
much more so to venerate the spot of wdich the dust is 
kindred to our own animated clay, where sleep the men 
to whom we owe the land and the liberty we enjoy. I 
will defy any one who pretends to understand or appre- 
ciate a stanza of Gray's matchless Elegy, to look upon 
this des&crated churcb-yard without mingled feelings of 
indignation and pain. If I were an American statesman 
I would watch, and endeavour to correct this national 
defect, and to instil into my countrymen a sentiment 
which the concurring testiniony of civilized nations has 
approved. Burke, who was no superficial observer of 
human nature, has said, "They who never look back to 
their ancestors, will rarely look forward to posterity." 

The road from James 'I'own to VVilliamsburgh is 
through a tame ill-cultivated country, without much pre- 
tention to beauty. The seat of government during the 
Old Dominion is now little better than a "deserted vil- 
lage." The centre of the palace where the governor 
resided has long since fallen down, and even the traces 
of its ruins are no more to be seen. Two small wings, 
which formed part of the range of offices, are still stand- 
ing: they have been bought and fitted up by Mr. B , 

their present possessor, in a neat cottage style. I did 
not scruple to enter, and ask permission to cast my eye 
round the apartments and adjoining garden, which was 
politely granted. It maybe imagined with what min- 
gled and undefinable feelings I viewed this spot, as a 
stranger and a foreigner, where my grandfather had liv- 


ed, surrounded by the pomp and pageantry of vice-royal- 
ty ! — then all was bustle and g^iyeiy, and life wiihin those 
halls — when the governor welcomed the colonisls to the 
board and to the dance, or salhed forth with Briiish sol- 
diery, supported by ihe bold woodsmen of the country, 
to drive the red invaders from the remote porlions of Vir- 
ginia, which are now included in the stales of Oliio and 
'J'ennessee !* What is now tlie contrasted scene? — 
those wildernesses, watered by the Ohio and Mississippi, 
which were then the abode of the wolf, the bear, and 
the Indian, are filled with thriving fartns and busy vil- 
lages, amidst which are to be found towns of great and 
increasing opiiknce ; while the ancient capital, on the 
site of which I was now standing, has dwindled, m half 
a century, into a paltry village, without even a venerable 
ruin to rescue its decay from insigiuficance ! 

The train of reflections naiurally arising from the con- 
templation of this scene probably prevenied my paying 
due aiteniion to the college situaled in the neighbour- 
hood of it, built and endowed (as is well known) by Wil- 
liam and Mary. I did visit it, however, and found a 
large irregular pile of building, without any architec- 
tural pretentions. I also paid my respects to Mr. T , 

one of the principal professors : his deportment and con- 
versation answered the general expectation which I had 
formed from the general high character thai he enjoys 
throughout the state. His general views of education 
and college discipline appeared to me liberal and enlight- 
ened. He introduced me to two other professors be- 
longing to the establishment; and my impression from 
the interview was, that, under such men, the college, 
which had for many years subsequently to the revolu- 
tion, and the consequent diminution of its funds, been on 
the decline, would soon regain its former celebrity. 

* In the time of James the First, and for many years after his reign, 
the colony of Virwinia was held to contain all the country between lati- 
tudes 32° and 44^, " and as far westward as might l)e convenient." I 
saw some very curious iRcords connected with this sul)ject in the archives, 
which are reserved in good order at Kichmond. Tlie present northern 
and southern limits of Virginia, were assigned in 1630-1632, when the 
boundaries of j\orth Carolina and Maryland were drawn. 


On ihe 29th of April I left Williamsburgh, and pro- 
ceeded, through an uninteresting country, to Hampton. 
From thence, I took a stroll towards the new fortilica- 
lion at Old Point, w[iich has been constructed with much 
care and at^reat expense. The works are of considera- 
ble extent, and many difficulties must have presented 
ihemselves in the progress of the fortification, especially 
from the instability of the foundation, the whole being 
built upon sand. I should conceive it altogether a strong 
fortress, as regular approaches could only be made on. 
one side, and that is a narrow isthmus, not easily occu- 
pied by an enemy. Its dimensions are quite out of pro- 
portion with the miliiary force ai present existing in the 
country. I should have conceived that the whole United 
States' army would not make more than a sufficient gar- 
rison for it (as it certanily would easily contain eight 
thousand men, which is above two thousand more than 
their present numerical force) ; but I am told the tech- 
nical calculations respecting the fortification (of which 
I am myself very ignorant) are, that it can be de- 
fended by three thousand men, and is calculated to hold 
out against regular approaches for forty days. The 
guns that I saw were all twenty-four and thirty-two 
pounders ; but forty-twos are to be mounted upon a new 
and improved principle in the construction of the car- 
riages. I have been informed that it was meant to fornn 
a kind of depot, or centre, of a great line of coast foriifi- 
caiion, extend mg all along the shores of the Atlantic : 
the intention of which was to protect the whole impor- 
tant line between the Hudson and the James river. 

Crossing from Old Point to Norfolk, in the steamer, I 
arrived late in the afternoon. This is a bustling, active 
town, containing; probably, about eleven thousand inhabi- 
tants. The streets are narrow, and the houses rather 
small ; and, though the shops are well filled, and the 
streets are lined with hampers, barrels, crates, and all the 
usual pavement impediments of a commercial port, still 
there is little to interest a- stranger ; but the bay affords 
a noble harbour, and the merchants of Norfolk have been 
long and justly celebrated for their hospitality. As for 
the great bay of the Chesapeake, in which this seaport 


is situated, it is certainly one of the finest in the world, 
whellier considered in reference to its commercial oi na- 
val importance, being on an averai^e, twelve or fifteen 
miles wide, two hundred and seventy miles long, and 
eight or ten fathoms deep throncrhoul ; it contains many 
commodious harbours and excellent fisheries. Besides 
the James river, of which 1 have before spoken, it re- 
ceives the waters of several navigable rivers, the prin- 
cipal of which are the Susquehannah, Potomac, Patuxenl, 
Rappaliannock, and York. 

J)uring my stay I was hospitably entertained by the 
British Consul, and made some agreeable acquaintance. 
After a few days I returned to Washmgton. 


Morning Ride. — Delightful Season. — Shrubs and Flowers. — The Mock- 
ing-bird. — Visit to a Fli)wer-Garden. — Preparations for a Tour in the 
West — Parting from Friends. — Jieave Washington for Baltimore. — 
Fearful Ravages of the Cholera. — Incident in the Museum at Balti- 
more. — Arrival at Philadelphia. — Start for Pittsburgh. — Lovely Prog- 
ppcl. — Lancaster Vale. — German Setilers. — The Susquehannah. — 
The Juniata. — Track Boats. — A Newspaper Repor|er. — Inquisitive 
Western Traveller. — Walk to Holydaysburgh. — Nocturnal Annoy*- 
ance. — Passage across the Alleuhanies. — Arrival at Johnstown. — 
The River Coniman. — Railroad. — The Alleghany River. — Pitts- 
burgh. — The Market. — Mr. Rapp's Settlement. 

On the morning of the 5th of May, I sallied forth 
about seven o'clock, to ride round the heights of George- 
town, and the picturesque glens by \vi]ich they are 
divided from the Washington race-course. All who 
have seen the various tints which clothe the American 
woods in autumn, (or, to use their own poetical and 
admirable expression, in the fall,) have agreed in cele- 
braliniT their unrivalled richness and beauty. I will not 
institute an odious comparison between that time of year 
and the " soote season" in which I now pricked forth: 
both are sweet, and both have their peculiar attractions: 

After all, the last scene is always the best. Nature 
is like Perdita in "The Winter's Tale," — "what she 
does, still belters what is done ;" but I never remember 


to have enjoyed a more delightful ride (at least, alone) : 
the sun was clear, bright, and gay in his bridegroom trim 
— the sweet south shook the dew-drops from the bud- 
ding trees ; 

" The flowers sprang wanton to be prest ; 
The birds sang love on every spray ;" 

and all nature wore that universal smile which the un- 
translatable expression of ^Eschylus so exquisitely paints 
in describing the sea.* 

The season, indeed, was later than usual, and on this 
lovely morning, the blooming May was busied in calling 
that " sleeping fragrance from the ground" which her 
elder sister April ougtit to have awakened ; the 

•' Violets dim, 
But sweeter than the lids of Juno's eyes, 
Or Cyiherea's breath," 

were peeping from every tangled corner in the dell ; 
buds and blossoms of various shrubs and trees, whose 
names were unknown to me, were bursiing open in 
every direction the verdant walls of their native prison, 
and endeavouring, ''all bashfully, to struggle into light;" 
while the graver pines and cedars seemed to mock their 
tender and unformed foliage. Proudly eminent among 
them all was the luxurious and gaudy beauty of the Cor- 
nus Jioridaj (called here the dog-wood); this is a large 
shrub, bearing delicate flowers of a paly pink hue, and 
such a profusion of them as to make the wild woods 
look like a flower-garden, and to throw into shades the 
beauties even of the May-thorn. 

Nor was animate nature less busily employed : the 
saucy robin was pluming himself by the stream, and 
regarded not my approach ; the gorgeous blue-bird was 
showing to the sun his " feathered inail, sky-tinctured 
grain ;" the cat-bird and thrush were singing their matins 

*■ The uv^ptBfiov yi?.aafta. Vide Prom. 1. 90. 

t I believe, in autumn, it bears bright scarlet berries : its bark is a 
powerful tonic, and is taken as a remedy for ague. 


from every bush and tree ; and, far above the rest, that 
prince of mimics and songsters, the mocking-bird, was 
swinging npon a small twig of the hickory-nut, which 
waved gently to and fro in the breeze ; while he, "as if 
he w^ould the charming air repay," poured forth a strain 
of such rich and varied melody, as made me, for the 
moment, almost forget my allegiance to that feathered 
queen of song, who, throned in some venerable oak in 
Windsor's glades, has received so often the grateful 
homage of my ear, and charmed so many hours, by day 
and night, of my earlier years ! 

Thus lovely was the scene through wliich I suffered 
my steed to ramble at his own pace, unwilling that he 
should not have his share in the enjoyment diffused 
around him ; my own musings were tmged, however 
with melancholy, as the last post from Europe had 
brought alarming accounts of the health of one who was 
and is to me as a sister — one who, when I left her" was 
bhthe and lovely as the landscape before me. There 
was something, moreover, in the object with which I 
visited thus early these woody dells, which was calcu- 
lated to inspire gentle thoughts; for my course was 
directed to a flower-garden, where I was going to select 
a small bouqueite for a youngr ladv, to whom I had, the 
preceding evening, lost a "flowery wager;" and as her 
attractions rendered her well worthy of the fairest and 
mosi fragrant selection which I could make, I was, per- 
haps, unconsciously illustrating those lines of our "old 
man eloquent," in which one. 

" Forth issuing: on a summer's morn, to breathe 
Among the pleasant villacjes and farms 
Adjoined, fronp each thing met conceives delight ;" 

but when the "fair virgin" is added to the picture, 
** What pleasing seem'd, for her now pleases more." 

T returned home, laden with sweets like a bee, only 
with this difference, that the bee is a thief, and I came 
honestly by mine. I heie feel obliged to acknowledge, 
that, although Washington is a dismal and dreary skele- 


t'on of a city, possessing a climate and situation equally 
detestable, there are some delightful rides in its neigh- 

A-fter spending a few days more in llie capital, I 
determined upon making a tour in the West, leaving its 
extent and direction to be guided by circumstances, and 
by such information or advice as I might meet with on 
the way. Accoidinaly, I armed myself with letters of 
introduction to the officers on tlie western stations from 
the secretary of the War Department and from tlie com- 
mander-in-chief, to both of wliom 1 was much indebted 
for the readiness with which ihey gave ihem, and the 
pressing language in wliich they were couched. 

I could not leave the friendly roof under which I had 
passed so many pleasant weeks without sincere regret, 
especially as I was not sure whether its hinrhly esteemed 
inhabitant might not return to Europe during my absence ; 
neither did " my bosom's lord sit lightly on his throne," 
on quilting others whose acquaintance and intimacy I 
had enjoyed. Although the society of three or four of 
the iranslanlic cities miglit be gayer, there were some at 
Washington with whom I felt more at home^ and conse- 
quently more loth to quit, than I should be to leave the 
gayeiies even of Paiis or Naples ! Nevertheless, on 
Monday, the 19th of May, I went to Baltimore. The 
day was fine, the company in the stage well-informed 
and pleasing members of the best society ; so that the 
blue devils made a hurried retreat. I had for a fellow- 
passenger General Eustace, a highly esteemed officer, 
and he gave me the following account of the fearfully 
rapid attack which the cholera had made upon some 
troops under his command in 1^32. lie was on board 
a steam-boat on Lake Michigan, bound for Chicago, on 
the 9lh of July, with about two hundred men. Some 
alarmilior reports regarding cholera having prevailed, he 
dci^ired the surgeon to examine all the men carefully on 
Sunday evening; the order was obeyed, and a report of 
their perfect healih, without one exception, returned. 

On Monday morning, he was awakened by the 
surgeon telling him that there was one decided cholera 
case. He doubted it, but rose ; before he was dressed 

Vol. L— M 


the Steward reported another. He now fitted np a sort 
of hospital cabin, removed tiie two sick men to it, wiih 
the requisite orders for tending ihem, and went to break- 
fast : by ilie lime he had finished his meal, the two men 
were dead, and numerous other cases had occurred. 
They reached Chicago that afternoon, and he had then 
thrown overboard nineteen dead, and had to land 
sixiy-five helplessly ill, few of whom recovered ! They 
had no premonitory symptoms ; no medicine afiforded 
the slightest relief. They were seized at once with 
fearful cramps and spasms ; and General Eustace describ- 
ed their cries and yells as having been acute and dread- 
ful in the extreme. In a few days there were scarcely 
survivors enough to bury their comrades by fours and fives 
in large holes, which ihey dug for the purpose. 

While at Baliiraore I strolled into the museum, to see 
the well-known figures of Tam O'fehanter and Souter 
Johnnie, which were being exhibited. I was contempla- 
ting them with ihe interest which the home recollections 
they suggested would naturally produce, heightened not 
a lilile by ihe pure broad Scotch with which the exhibitor 
explained to the spectators their distinctive peculiarities, 
when ihe grolesque group received an addition which I 
shall not easily forget. Oh ! how I longed for the pencil 
of a Wilkie, or rather of a Reynolds ! Indeed the poetic 
contrast uas stronger than that presented by the struggle 
between Tragedy and Comedy for the great actor of the 
last century. How I do now long for the pen of the Wi- 
zard of the JNorth, tliat I nriight delineate, for my own 
satisfaciion, or for that of others, the scene which, for a 
few moments, I enjoyed ! It was simply this. The 
ixierry cobler was silting in stone, wMth the broad smile 
upon his countenance, and the half-emplied can in his 
liaiid, when suddenly I observed a delicate round arm 
passed round his neck, and a profusion of dark tresses min- 
gled with his gray locks ! It was a young girl, of about 
sixteen or seventeen years, who, with the naivete of 
youthful curiosity, had approached to lake a nearer view 
of the jolly Souler. She was one of the most lovely 
creatures that ever I looked upon : her hair was dark 
and glossy ; her eyes black and brilliant, beneath eye- 


brows most delicately pencilled, and shaded by lids the 
fringe of which threatened to tickle her rosy cheek ; lier 
nose was of that fine correct fornfi so distinctive of An:)e- 
rican beauty, and round her sweet small mouth played 
two dimples that Psyche might have slept in ; her figure 
and her attitude blended the playful grace of the child 
with the sym^metry of ripening bloom ; and thus, in 
delighted and unconscious beauty, did she hang her arm 
roimd Johnny^'s neck of stone, and look into his grinning 
visage, her arch eyes beaming with surprise, and her full 
cherry lips almost touching his rough cheek ! I could 
not forbear gazing more intently perhaps than I ought; 
she happened to look up, and, on encountering my rivet- 
ted eyes, she blushed deeply, and changed her position. 
I turned and left the room, for fear aught should mar that 
lovely and perfect picture of contrast ! 

On the following day I went on to Philadelphia, where 
I remained tweniy-four hours, and took my place in the 
canal and railroad line from thence to Pittsburgh, the 
Birmingham of the West, and the extreme point of 
Pennsylvania, being three hundred and eighty-five miles 
from Philadelphia. Having furnished myself, by the 
assistance of an obliging friend in Philadelphia, with a 
fleet dog, called or rather miscalled, Peevish, of a mixed 
greyhound race, whose speed I proposed to try on the 
plains of Illinois and Missouri, I set off on Friday morn- 
ing for Pittsburgh. 

The opening of this great railroad, after passing the 
celebrated water-works of Fairraount, mounts the range 
of hills which overlook the city to the westward by an 
inclined plane, the draught-power being placed in a 
steam-engine worked at the summit. As the operation 
of attaching the cars was somewhat tedious, I got out, 
and walked to the top of the hill, when my eye was 
gladdened by one of the most delightful prospects ima- 

The morning was bright as a young May sun could 
make it; the Schuylkill wound gracefully round the base 
of the eminence on which I stood, his banks fringed 
with the oak, the poplar, and the weeping willow, and 
Studded with rqany white and smiling villas, theiy 


creeper-et>ve7ed aibours and neat lawn§ reminding me of 
some of ihose on ihe banks of the Falher Thames ; 
while, stretched on the seaward plain, lay the peaceful 
oily of Brotherly Love, its bright spires glittering above 
the light hazy smoke which partly hid and partly reveal- 
ed the humbler buildings beneath. No pen can describe 
the beauty of the forest-foliage at this '* sweet hour of 
prime ;" so great v^as the variety of tree and shrub 
which clothed the undulating hills around, all spangled 
with early dew, the brilliant dog-wood shining through 
every casual opening, and the lap of earth beneath 
teeming with the honeysuckle, the azalia, the wild fusia.^ 
and hundreds of humbler, though not less lovely, flow- 

Thence the railroad carried us through one of the 
richest and most pleasant valleys in America, or in ths 
world, called Lancaster Vale,, from the town situated in 
its bosom. At this season it was one continued waving 
sea of rye, clover, and wheat : the farm-houses wero 
almost all whitewashed, with a neat garden in front, and 
on one or each side a large orchard, the trees of which 
were planted with the utmost regularity, and their fra- 
grant boughs teeunng with blossom; while here and 
there was a favouiite cow, with her jingling neck-bel), 
cr a pet po-ny, croppifrg tlie rich orchard grass, and 
revelling, with an almost Apician gluttony, on the luxu- 
riant pasture. 

This part of ihe country was chiefly settled by Ger- 
mans ; indeed, many of them can speak very little 
English. They have German preachers, and a (merman 
printing-press ; and yet so corrupted is their dialect, that 
J very much doubt whether a Saxon, a Brunswicker, or 
a Hanoverian could understand them readily. One old 
man with whom I spoke, was the third in descent, 
American born, his great grandfather having, come from 
Frankfort; he could speak neither language intelligibly; 
his son, however, a well-educated young man, joined in 
the conversation, and said, *' Sir, you will not easily 
understand this dialect, but I will speak to you in 
Luther's German ;" upon which he addressed several 
sentences to me in language tolerably pure, both in 


grammar and pronunciation. It is almost needless to 
say, that the above phrase derives its origin from Lu- 
ther's translation of the Bible, still in universal use 
among the Gerinans. 

After travelling seventy-two miles on this railroad, we 
arrived at Columbia, a village that seems to possess a 
brisk trade in lumber, judging from the vast piles collec- 
ted on each side of the road. Here my eye was regaled 
by the first view of the sweet and now classic Susque- 
hannah ; and well may that stream inspire the poet's pen 
or limner's pencil. 

The river, opposite Columbia, winding round the base 
of the hill which girds the eastern extremity of that 
village, is there broad and shallow, and its rippling cur- 
rent is broken by a thousand liiile islets, many of them 
only a few feet in diameter, but which the profuse hand 
of Nature has decked already with moss, grass, or shrub, 
although in winter they are probably submerged ; but 
now they formed a complete fresh-water archipelago. 
Here we left the railroad and took to the canal-boat, 
which, to my great delight, followed the course of the 
river, and gave us an opportunity of enjoying for many 
miles, the view of its picturesque and woodland banks. 

After passing Harrisburgh, the canal leaves the Sus- 
quehannah at Peiersburgh, and courts her rival and 
younger sister the Juniata. I confess, with shame, that 
I had never lieard of this river ; yet are her unsung banks 
as rich in foliage, in pleasant farms, in every variety of 
beauty, as hers which are consecrated by the Legend of 
Gertrude : the average size of the channel appears to me 
to be much the same as that of " royal-towered Thame'' 
at Windsor. The packets, or track-boats, as they are 
here called, are tolerably comfortable ; and their rate of 
going is about four miles an hour; which I preferred to 
greater speed, as it enabled me in the evening and morn- 
ing, when the heat was not intense, to walk many miles 
in the enjoyment of the fresh hill breeze and the lovely 
everchanging scenery. 

The company on board these boats is very mixed, 
including every grade, from the operative lo the highest 
class in Philadelphia. I was very fortunate in meeting 


wiih an elderly gentleman well known as one of ifie 
most eminent and accurate reporters in this country. 
His abilities are employed in the service of the National 
Intelligencer ; a paper conducted by gentlemen, and 
remarkable in these days of political profligacy for advo- 
cating moderate sound opinions, as well for a rigid 
abstinence from that tone of virulence and personality 
which disgraces a great many American, and not a few 
British, newspapers. I tliink 1 understood him to say 
that his remuneration from this paper, as a reporter, was 
about 3000 dollars (between 6 and 700/.) per annum. 

I enjoyed much agreeable and not uninstruciive con- 
versation with this gentleman, and I never saw the 
autumn of life adorned with more sober or more cheerful 
hues : happy in his home, honoured by his children, 
with a good consiitution and a religious and contented 
spirit, and maintaining his opinions, which were strong 
and somewhat peculiar, with all the warmth and eneray 
of youth, I could not help wishing, that thirty years 
hence, if I am destined so long to live, my mind and 
body might be in a similarly happy frame. 

I found an amusing contrast in the manners of some 
western travellers, who were cast in a rougher mould : 
they were not satisfied till they had found out who I 
was, where I came from, why 1 came, where I was go- 
ing to, how long I meant to stay, and, in additian ta these 
pariiculars, how much my umbrella cost, and what was 
the price of mv hat. Thi-s last inquiry was followed 
by the party taking it up from the bench, and putting it 
on his Jiead, which was not very cool, neither did it ap- 
pear to have suffered much annoyance from water or 
from comb ; luckily the hat did not fit, and after giving 
it two or three stout pulls in a vain attempt to draw it 
over his scalp, he returned it to me. Another fellow 
saw me smoking a Carbaiios cigar ; he asked me, 
^' Stranger, have you got another o{ them things ? I will 
give you a cent for one" (a halfpenny). J immediately 
gave him one, saying, in perfect good-humour, " I will not 
sell you one, but I shall be very glad if you will accept 
this." To my surprise be became irritated and angry, 
and tried two or three times to force the cent upon me. 


I refused as stoutly; and at length told him, that if he 
was determined to buy and not accept ihe cigar, 1 sliould 
charge him half a dollar for it. Tliis view of the case 
induced him to take it gratis, but he seemed annoyed, 
and by no means grateful. 

I record these curious traits as more or less indicative 
of the western yeoman : that these sturdy fellows are 
less civil or good-humoured than those of a similar class 
in Lancashire or Yorkshire, I neither say nor think ; but 
doubtless their freedom of manner and conduct would be 
reckoned impertinent in any other country. 

On the eve of the 25th we arrived, about four, at a 
place where one of the locks was undergoing some 
repairs, and consequently the boat could proceed no 
farther until they were completed; an operation which 
was expected to last some three or four hours. 1 was 
informed that it was only twelve or fourteen miles to 
Holydaysburgh, where the canal terminates, and the 
jouiney is resumed the following morning on a railroad 
across the Alleghanies. I accordingly left the boat, and 
with my stout stick in my hand, and Peevish gamboling 
at my side, I set off on foot over the hills to Holydays- 
burgh. The evening was beautiful, but the heat was 
very severe for pedestrian exercise ; however, I trudged 
merrily along over a wooded and somewhat rough coun- 
try, and a few hours brought me to the village, where I 
supped. In an evil moment, 1 determined to sleep in 
the tavern instead of in the close cabin of the track-boat, 
where our hammocks were slung in tiers three deep, and 
a " stout gentleman'' might have found some dithcully 
in creeping into them. 

Having procured a sleeping apartment with only two 
beds in it, I hired them both, under a pretext of a friend 
about to follow me, and comforted myself with the deli- 
cious prospect of solitude and quiet. Heu, votum ig- 
7iarce menfes f Scarcely had I "quenched the flammg 
minister" and nestled myself in the least dirty-looking of 
the beds, when forth rushed from tester, pillow, and post, 
a horde of those '' blastet wonners," whose name I abhor 
to write : — the well-remembered night spent at Pico 
presented its horrors to my memory ; and after bestow- 


ing hundreds of random blows upon every part of my 
assaulted person, J rose and beat the whole blankeied 
field of battle with a large towel. 'T was all in vain : 
after suffering about two hours of this annoyance, my 
servant came in wiih a candle, by the assistance of which 
I slew five of the ringleaders ; but after his departure, 
the "rebel rout" returned to the charge and gained an 
easy victory. 

In addition to the draughts of pleasure which I thus 
took in through the sense of touch, I might also men- 
lion olheis which T enjoyed through that of hearing, such 
as the baying, yelping, and howling of seven or eight 
dogs in tlie yard below, whose power of voice was only 
equalled by its endurance. Sleep would not " light on 
iny lids," and 1 arose at daylight, unrefresheJ and 
wounded as if I had slept over a wasp's nest. 

Upon mentioning to the landlord the undesired com- 
pany with which I had been favoured, he said, " Yes, it 
is rather unpleasant." I agreed with him, and with 
much satisfaction bade adieu to him and his temple of 

. On Monday morning I entered the railroad car that was 
to convey me across the Alleghanies. We had to go up 
many inclined planes before we could reach the summit. 
Some passengers are much alarmed at that part of the 
journey, because all the cars are attached by one lope, 
which hauls ihem up the hill by ihe power of a steam- 
engine ; and if it were to break, the cars and all their 
contents would probably be dashed to pieces. I never 
felt this alarm : why should it break? the rope is thick 
and very strong ; and I cannot understand why people 
whose whole existence depends constantly upon strings 
and fibres finer than thread, should fear to trust it to the 
security of a ca!)le ! Yet such are the contradictions 
commonly incidental to human nature. 

7'he passage over the mountain is one continued scene 
of rough wild woodland. Tlie railroad is carried along 
the sides of ridges of considerable height, and almost 
precipitous ; where I should think that persons troubled 
with nerves might be now and then annoyed and alarm- 
ed. On our descent from the summit, the horses got 


friLThtencd twice ; the first time, on meeting another Une 
of'^cars, they turned round and got jammed between the 
two hnes, whence there was some ditiicuky in extricating 
ihem ; the second time, they went down a sleep bank, 
about twenty feet deep, and if it had occurred a little 
sooner or later, it must have been fatal to them, and 
might have been so to lis. However, we arrived in safe- 
ty ^at Johnstown, where we were transferred again to 
the canal which follows the course of the river Cone- 
maugh, and we felt that the journey was drawing to a 
close, as the waters now ran to the west — all of them 
hurrying through their multitudinous channels to swell 
the mighty tide of the Mississippi. After travelling some 
distance along the banks of the Conemaugh, its name, 
probably from some intermediate tributary stream, is 
changed to the Kis-kiminitas ; the pronunciation of which 
among a parly of strangers gives rise to much merri- 
ment and laughter. On both sides of its channel aie 
extensive salt works, and coal and lime abound. The 
earth is bored to the depth of six or seven hundred feet, 
a copper tube is inserted, and the salt water being drawn 
up by a pump, the salt is extracted by boiling: the 
whole process being carried on by the assistance of steam. 
The salt finds a ready market at Pittsburgh, 'Uhe Bir. 
mingham of the West. 

One of the principal engineers who had been employ- 
ed in constructing this railroad, happened to be wiih us, 
and from him I gathered some of the subjoined particu- 
lars. The length of the canal and rail line from Phila- 
delphia to Pitts'burgh, is three hundred and eighty-three 
miles, of which about one hundred and twelve are rail- 
road ; the cost of the whole was 1,600,000^ dollars, 
about 350,000/.; the height of "the summit" is two 
thousand three hundred feet above the sea, and fourteen 
hundred above the canal at the base. There are two 
tunnels of considerable length in the course of the whole 
line : the first is a railroad tunnel, ihrough one of the 
spurs of the Alleghany mountain, nine hundred feet long, 
and the hill above it is between two and three hundred 
feet high ; the second is a canal tunnel of similar di- 
mensions, and passing also under a mountain. I learned 


with much surprise that the former of these vast excava- 
tions had cost only 5000/. 

The whole line reflects the highest credit both on the 
engineers and on the state* The detail is certainly very 
faulty, as the rate of travelling is unnecessarily slow 
(about four miles an hour, including stoppages), and we 
were obhged to go back a mile once or twice, through 
meeting olher cais at places where we could not pass ; 
but these are trifles which a few months will probably re- 
medy, and which it would be invidious and foolish to 
carp at, when we consider the difficulties that have been 
overcome, the wonderful facilities of transportation that 
have been acquired, and the mingled courage and per- 
severance with which the rugged chain of the Ailegha- 
nies have been obliored to " bend their slifl" necks," and 
lend their rough backs, to carry the comforts and luxu- 
ries of life between the Atlantic cities and the " Great 

At Freeport we joined the course of the Alleghany 
river, and mingled our muddy Kis-kiminatian waters 
wiih its clear and transparent stream. I'he country now 
assumed a more tame and settled appearance, while tlie 
continual recurrence of coal-smoke and steam-engines 
reminded us of our return to civilization. Pittsburgh 
stands at the junction of the Alleghany and Monongahe- 
la, from ihe union of which two rivers springs the ma- 
jestic Ohio. The town is, like all other busy manufac- 
turing towns, an emporium of smoke and dirt. The 
inns are in character with ihe town ; and, though it is 
situated on tlie delta formed by two beautiful rivers, and 
the neighbouring country is both rich and variegated, 
still I know nothing that need detain a stranger there, 
unless he is anxious to make an accurate investigation 
into the state of its manufactures. 

It is almost unnecessary to add that Pittsburgh was 
originally a French settlement, called Fort du Quesne. 
The French were remarkable for the sagacity which 
they showed in the choice of their posts, and conse- 
quently did not overlook the eligible situation, both in 
regard to military objects and to Indian trade, which 
was aflforded by the confluence of these great rivers. It 


was near this spot that Braddock paid the penalty of his 
rash and ignorant obstinacy with his iife ; and also ihat 
one of Qiy countrymen, Colonel (Jrant, with nearly a 
thousand followers, mostly Highlanders, fell on the side 
of a hill which siiU bears his nanie. 

1 fetrolled into the market, and for several minutes really 
fancied myself in one of the smaller quarters of (ilas- 
gow^ or Birmingham, so loud was the din, so smoke- 
blacked were the bricks, so noisy were the dogs gather- 
ed round the shambles, and so "proudly eminent'' above 
all other sounds was Paddy's vernacular voice, male of 
famale, whether raised in fun, bargain, or wrath ! The 
only item calculated to dispel the illusion was the num- 
ber of broad-faced and broad-sierned, fair-haired butch- 
ers, whose native land might easily be guessed, without 
Yankee ingenuity, and without looking at the boards 
over their stalls, with their various inscriptions of 
*' Schmidt," " Reinhardt," " Hermann," &c. The price 
of the best beef was about eight cents (or 4J.) per lb. 

The 'principal manufactures in this town are iron, 
steam-engines, cutlery, cotton and woollen, tin and cop- 
per, and glass. In all these, great facility is afforded by 
the abundance and proximity of coal, which is worked, 
with small trouble and expense, by horizontal shafts 
penetrating the sides of the adjacent mountains, where 
the coal strata are very thick and regular. The means 
of water-carriage are already most extensive, and addi- 
tional canals, in a northerly and norlh-westerly direction, 
are in contemplation, or perhaps, in progress. 

As I wished to arrive as soon as possible at St. Louis, 
I did not visit the singular establishment of Mr. Rapp, 
(the German Owen), at Economy — a prettily situated vil- 
lage, about eighteen miles below l^itlshurgh ; I have 
heard much of its neatness, and of the strange nature of 
its various arrangements. There are several factories, 
and the inhabitants, who arc mostly Germans, are quiet 
and industrious in their habits. Mr. Rapp is the patri- 
arch of the settlement ; his word is law ; and he acts in 
the capacity of clergyman, judge, and director. No 
marriage is allowed ; and various other ab^jurd regula- 
tions are observed, the general impracticability of which 


is concealed by the diminutive scale on which they are 
practised, by the autliority of the chief, by the respecta- 
bility of the settlers, and by the beauty and attraction of 
the situation. I have seen some tolerable silks that have 
been made and dved in this establishment. 


Embark on the Ohio. — Banks of the River. — Wheeling. — Remark- 
able Indian Mound. — Risings of the River — Arrival at Cincin- 
nati. — The Town. — The Museum. — Manufacture. — Mrs. Trollope's 
Bazaar — her erroneous Statements. — Prosperity of Cincinnati. — 
Hospitality of its Inhabitants. — American Servants. — The Cholera. 
— Contrast between the Slates of Ohio and Kentucky. — Character 
of the Kentuckians. — Brutal Method of Fighting. 

Having spent a day at Piitsbnroh, T committed my- 
self to the bosom of *' La Belle Rwiere^'' (as the French 
Ui^ed to call the Ohio), on the first steam-boat with a 
high pressure engine that I had yet seen. The noise, 
the furious and vain attempt made by the confined caloric 
to escape, and the violent shaking of the ves^sel, render 
it more disagreeable than those impelled by low-pressure 
engines; and, however the western worthies may wish 
to disguise tlie truth, they are much more dangerous. 
While on board, I read an account of the bursting of a 
boiler a few days previously, lower down the river, by 
which thirty or forty persons were killed or missing ! I 
heard a rough Kentuckian chap relating, that he had 
been on board the steamer at the time of the explosion ; 
he said he felt a sort of a "queer shake, but he did not 
mind it at all ;" and he concluded his piihv narration of 
the death of these thirty or forty luckless victims by say- 
ing, " It was d — d lucky, it was only a parcel of these 
Dutch ;" meaning thereby that the sufferers were chiefly 
German emigrants. 

The Ohio is indeed a noble and majestic stream, flow- 
ing between hi oh and undulating banks teemiiiii with a 
profusion of foliage, which includes every verdant hue 
from the willow to the cedar. Wherever clearances 


have been made, the trees immediately on the vi^ater's 
edge liave been spared, in order that iheir huge trunks 
and wide-spread roots might break the force of ihe cur- 
rent, which rises after the melting of the snows to an ex- 
traordinary height. I observed many of ihem growing, 
twenty or ihiriy feet perpendicular, above the present 
elevaiion of the stream, wiih the soil completely wash- 
ed fri^^m their base, and their sinewy fibrous roots exposed 
above the earth, and giving clear evidence of the furious 
attacks which they had resisted. This perpetual fringe of 
verdure, together with tiie equable and quiet nature of 
the current, gives a tone of beauty and repose lo this 
river that J have never seen equalled ; while its nume- 
rous bends, and the islands which here and there break 
its uniformity, prevent the eye from being cloyed by the 
profuse and interminable mass of foliage. 

After passing Wellsburgh and several other villages 
which bore a busy and thriving appearance, we arrived 
at Wheeling, situated on the extreme north-western 
point of Virginia. This is a town of considerable and 
increasing importance ; the soil is alluvial, and the great- 
est obstacle to its becoming a very wealthy city, appears 
to be the extreme narrowness of the ledge on which it 
is built, there being but a small area between the moun- 
tains and the river; so that the streets, if extended, 
must be extended only longitudinally. Tlie neighbour- 
hood abounds with coal ; and the great national western 
road passes through this town, which cbrftains probably 
from seven to eigtit thousand inhabitants. 

Among other objects of interest, a spot was pointed 
out to me, about fifteen miles below Wheeling, by the 
side of a stream, called, if I remember right, Grave 
Creek — an Indian mound, composed of bones and 
skulls. Jt is between one hundred and fifty and two 
hundred yards in circumference at the base, seventy 
feel high, and sixty feet in diameter at the summit, which 
is concave ; the whole is regular and uniform in its con- 
struction. By what race and in what age these gigantic 
mounds were raised, has hitherto been, and probably 
ever will be, an unexplained mystery : it seems liighly 
improbable that they were constructed bv any Indian 

Vol. I.— N 


tribes, so vast are iheir dimensions, and so greai the la- 
bour necessary lo build them, as well as the population 
requisite to fill ihem. 

The average breadlh of the Ohio, between Pillsburgh 
and Cincinnati, is six hundred yards, but it varies more 
than most rivers at the different seasons of ihe year; 
indeed, the " freshes," or rapid risings to which it is lia- 
ble after heavy rains, are productive of great inconve- 
nience and sometimes of danger to ihe residents near its 
banks. As an instance of the former, I might mention 
the impossibility of erecting wharfs or quays at different 
commercial ports, where ihe want of such conveniences 
is but poorly supplied by house-boats, or floating wharfs, 
moored close to ihe shore. I was lold that two or three 
years ago ihe river rose sixty feet in height, and flooded 
all the lower parts of Cincinnati and olher towns, so that 
the inhabiianls were reduced to the gondola for their 
daily iniercoiirse ; provisions were introduced into the 
hoitses through the windows of the second and third story, 
and steam-boats plyed lo and from the market-place. 

The only fault of ihe scenery, in descending ihis noble 
river, is ihe rich endless varieiy of foliage which its 
banks present to the eye, and the want of any breaks or 
vistas by which a view of the adjacent counlry could be 
here and there obtained : it is self-evident, from what has 
been said of the rising of the water, that such a pictu- 
resque luxury w-ould be most destructive to the banks. 

On the last day of spring I arrived at Cincinnati, that 
precocious daughier of the \^'est, that seems to have 
sprung, like the fabled goddess of war and wisdom, into 
existence, in the full panoply of manufacturinor and com- 
mercial armour, lis situation is admirably chosen both 
for convenience and beauty, as it stands on a plain gently 
inclininir towards the river; the area of this plain is 
nearly four miles in diameter, bounded on the north, 
north-east, and north-west by an undulating well-wooded 
range of hills, from the top of which the view of the 
fertile vale, the ciiy, and the sweeping river, with its 
broad bosom speckled by steamers and other boats, is 
one of the loveliest that the eye can desire. 

The streets in this city are laid out rectangularly ; and 


tliiis the eye, in looking along ihe greater part of thenn, 
rests upon the hills before described, which gives a fresli- 
ness to the prospect rarely to be found in a town. Many 
of the private houses are large and con:inaodious, and 
some of them surrounded by pleasant and neatly cultivat- 
ed gardens ; there are about thirty churches, a college, 
a lunatic asylum, and one for orphans, and other public 
buildings usually found in a wealthy city. 

The museum contains little worthy of notice ; more- 
over, its contents, mean as they are, are miserably defi- 
cient in order and arrangement. I was surprised and 
disappointed, as I had heard much of the valuable 
collection to be seen in this establishment. There are 
a few fossil mammoth bones of extraordinary size, and 
also a number, of skulls found in some of the ancient 
mounds, differing materially in form from those of the 
modern race of Indians. There are also several banks 
and insurance compaiiies, and about twenty periodical 
publications, three or four of which are daily papers ; I 
also saw one German weekly paper, Der Deutsche 
Frariklin* as well written, and better printed than most 
of those which I have seen in the provincial towns in 

The chief article of manufacture (though there are 
many others of inferior extent), is iron, in every form 
and shape, especially in the construction of steam-en- 
gines. I am told that about one third of the steamers 
on the Mississippi and Ohio, amounting, in all, to nearly 
fi\re hundred, have been built here. The population, as 
near as I can form a calculation from observation and in- 
quiry, is about forty thousand. They are chiefly com- 
posed of emigrants from New England, from Germany, 
from all parts of the States, and, indeed, of the woild. 

Tlie building which is the most absurd, ugly, and 
ridiculous in the town, exhibiting a want of taste and in- 
vention only equalled by the contempt which it displays 
for every rule of architecture, gothic or classic, is the 
bazaar built by Mrs. TroUope ; a lady who did all that 
lay within the power of her clever and caricaturing pen to 

* The German Franklin. 


hold np the inhabitanls of Cincinnati to the ridicule of the 
civilized world, as regards their niauneis, their habits, 
and their trisle. I'his bazaar is a large non-descript 
edifice of l)rick, with a stone, or iniiiation of stone, face : 
it has pillars, a cupola, ^oihic windows surnnounied by 
Grecian architraves, and scraps of every order (or dis- 
order), from a square brick box to an Ionic volute ! 
JNeillier can I compliment the lady's sagacity any more 
than her taste ; as m lliis thriving city her speculation is, 
probably, the most signal and complete failure that has 
occurred since its setilem.enl ! After losing the greater 
part of the money embarked in it, she was obliged to 
leave it unfinished. 

As far as my short visit enabled me to judge, her ac- 
curacy of description is upon a par with the monuments 
which she has left here of her speculative sagacity and 
taste. I have been in company with ten or twelve of 
the resident families, and have not seen one single in- 
stance of rudeness, vulgarii}^ or incivility ; while the 
shortness of the invitations, and absence of constraint 
and display, render the society more agreeable, in some 
respects, than that of more fashionable cities. If the 
proposition stated is merely this ; " that the manners of 
Cincinnati are not so polished as those of the best circles 
in London, Paris, or Berlin ; that her luxuries, whether 
culinary or displayed in carriacres, houses, or amuse- 
ments, are also of a lower cast ;" I suppose none would 
be so absurd as to deny it. I hope few would be weak 
enough gravely to inform the world of so self-evident a 
truth ; but I will, without fear of contradiction, assert, 
that the history of the world does not produce a parallel 
to Cincinnati in rapid growth of wealth and pc^pulalion. 
Of all the cities that have been founded by mighty sove- 
reigns or nations, with an express view to their becom- 
ing the capitals of empires, there is not one that, in 
twenty-seven years from iis foundation, could show such 
a mass of manufacture, enterprise, population, wealth, 
and social comfort, as that of which 1 have given a short 
and imperfect outline in the last two or three pages; and 
Tvhich owes its magnitude to no adsciiitious favour or en- 
couragement, but to the judgment with which the situa- 


tion was chosen, and to the admirable use which its in- have made thereof. 

When I think of the short period that has elapsed since 
the red Indian, the bear, the elk, and the butfalo roamed 
through these hills ; since the river (bearing on its bosona 
nothing but the bark canoe, or tlie flat bottomed boat of 
the Indian trader) flowed in silence through the massive 
and impenetrable forest ; and turn from that fancied pic- 
ture to the one now before my eyes, displaying crowded 
and busy streets, rattling with drays and carriages ; fac- 
tories on all sides, resounding with the regular and 
mighty swing of the engine ; numerous taper spires 
pointing to heaven ; thence turn to the river, and see it 
alive wiih streaming commerce; and, look beyond over 
the villages, the neat farms, the orchards, and the gardens 
— I am filled with astonishment and admiration at the 
enercry and industry of man, and with pride at the self- 
suggested reflection, that this metamorphosed wilderness 
is tiie work of Britain's sons ; and I do pity, from the 
bottom of my heart, the man (and, above all others, the 
Englishman) who can see nothing in such a scene, but 
food for unjust comparisons, sneers, raillery, and ridicule ! 

I rode out twice to take a view of the surrounding 
country. My only acquaintance in the city was with a 
family whom I had never seen before my arrival, but 
some members of which I had known at Fayal ; and 
with a Scotch gentleman and his w\(e, whom I had met 
at Washington, and who had lately arrived ; and yet, 
with these small means of introduction to society, I re- 
ceived invitations for the evening, several for dinner, 
and was obliged to decline two or three polite ofl'ers of 
a saddle-horse, from persons to whom I had been oi ly 
introduced a few hours before. On both occasions when 
I rode out, 1 went in company with ladies ; and there 
was nothing in any of the detail of the equipage that 
would have caused a smile in a riding party m Windsor 
or Richmond Park, except that the horses are wont to 
rack or pace — a kind of gait that I think equally un- 
graceful and disajTreeable, but doubtless combming easy 
motion with tolerable speed. 

The gentry in our European cities could not conceive. 


and could hardly be made to understand, the difficulties 
in which those of their class find themselves here in re- 
gard to servanis. Tlie latter are indeed the most capri- 
cious of lyranis. Wealthy and respecia''>le families, instead 
of their proper complement of servnnls, are sotnelimes 
left with one or two mai(is in the house, and are unable 
to give a dinner to their neighbours. Moreover, these 
said tyrants stay exactly as long as they please ; a 
month, a week, a day, and leave without a moment's 
warninor, sure of finding immediate employment. 

On the second morning after my arrival, the proprie- 
tor of the tavern in which I lodoed went to market, as 
usual, early, leaving jiis kilchen full of servants, about 
to prepare breakfast for one hundred and fifiy or two 
hundred ; on his return, he found that the said meal was 
not forthcoming with its ordinary alacrity ; and on going 
into his kitchen, discovered that his cook and four of his 
kitchen-maids had left him, none of them having thought 
it worth while to tell of their intention. He said they 
%vould come or send, in a few days, for their waoes, and 
if they were not immediately paid, would sue him ! 

My occupations and ainusements in Cincinnati were 
most disairreeabl}^ interrupted by a severe attack of 
cholera. This painful disorder had lately re-appeared 
in several places in the neighbourhood ; and, although 
its ravages were not so extensive as in the year 1832, 
they were sufficient to fill the town with alarm, and to 
cause similar precautionary and sanatory regulations to 
those which had been before observed. I was for three 
days under its baneful influence. 

On the morning of the second day, after I had gone 
through the violent depletions which affect the stocnach 
in the first stages of the disorder, the total prostration of 
strengih, and the sharp convulsive cramps which J ex- 
perienced in my leg>^, ^^ave reason to believe I should 
probably not recover. I now dictated and signed a short 
letter, and a few testamentary paiticul;irs, addressed to 
the Witish Legation at Washington, addino a superscrip- 
tion, that the seal was not to be liroken until the news of 
my death was confirmed.* After this I recollect but 

* On my return to Washington next year, I had the pleasure of 
burning this my Cincinnati will. 


liltle of what passed for some hours. My servant said, 
that my " face was just the colour of lead ;" and the phy- 
sician who attended me told me atierwards, that he gave 
me, in an hour and a half, one hundred and eighty grains 
of calomel, in three doses of sixty grains each. A sort 
of lethargy into which I had fahen, was succeeded by 
a more natural sleep; and on the tliird day, the crisis 
was passed, and, although exceedingly weak and re- 
duced, I was out of danger. 

It would be most ungrateful, were I to forget that I 
received from the family which I have before mentioned, 
every attention that kindness could dictate or my slate 
admit. The gentleman called on me two or three limes 
a-day, sent me from his house a comfortable pillow, wish- 
ing to add a better m.altress ihan the one on which [ lay ; 
and, moreover, pressed me most earnestly to take up my 
invalid abode under his roof. There are very few of the 
older and more luxurious cities where a stranger could 
expect to meet with similar kindness. 

Jt appears to me (from ihe limited opportunities that 
I have enjoyed for observing) that no two bordering states 
in the Union differ so much in ihe character of their 
population as Ohio and Kentucky. This difference is 
partially occasioned by the following causes : — First, 
Kentucky is a slave state ; Ohio is noi. Secondly, Ohio 
was chiefly settled by Germans, New Englanders, a few 
British, and, in short, an industrious agricultural class; 
while Kentucky was chiefly settled by the western Vir- 
ginians, a wild, high-spirited, and somewhat rough tribe 
of hunters. Thirdly, the soil of the two slates tends 
to the distinction between them, which I have partly at- 
tributed to their origin. 

Ohio contains probably a higher average of good arable 
land, compared with its whole extent, than any other 
slate in the Union, so that the bear, the wolf, and even 
the deer, are almost banished from their woods, and 
agriculture forms the chief employment of the people ; 
while Kentucky, although boasting of a fine soil, some 
tracts of great ferlililv, and a luxuriant growth of limber, 
has still large portions of country only trodden by the 
foot of the hunter, and that of the various objects of his 


pursuit. These causes (probably combined with others 
whicli I have omitted) have produced a wide and marked 
diflference of character. The Ohians are a quiet, mdus- 
Irious, peaceable people, carrying the "republicanism of 
democracy" (as iheir German newspapers call it) to its 
highest pitch ; but too far removed from the scene of 
action, and not sufficiently congregated in manufacturing 
or commercial masses, to give to their political feelings 
the bitterness and personality so prevalent in the East. 
There is no material difference in the forms of govern- 
ment of the two states, except that in Ohio the gover- 
nor and senators aie biennially chosen, whereas in Ken- 
tucky they are elected for four years ; in both, the House 
of Representatives is annually elected by what may be 
called universal suffrage, i. e. every citizen, being iwenty- 
one years of age, and resident in the state. 

The character of the Kentuckians has greater merits 
and greater faults ; their moral features are more broadly 
and distinctly marked. Descended, as 1 before said, 
from tiie western hunters, and some of them from the 
more wealthy planters of Virginia and North Carolina, 
they are brave, generous, proud, frank, and hospitable, 
but apt at the same time to be rough, overbearing, and 
quarrelsome. They are extremely vain of their slate, 
and inclined to play the braggart, as well in her praises 
as their own ; the former fault, / for one, can freely for- 
give them, as the want of local or home attachment is 
one of the least agreeable features of American cha- 
racter. They are, moreover, pretty strongly imbued (pro- 
bably through their Virginian dL-scent) with a taste for 
gambling, horse-racing, &;c., which is perhaps strength- 
ened by their frequent intercourse, on their northern and 
western frontier, with the numerous gamblers, or " sports- 
men," who come up the river in spring and summer to 
avoid the heat and malaria of New Orleans and the ad- 
jacent country. 

In addition to the above traits of character, there is 
one of which I cannot speak otherwise than with un- 
qualified reprobation — I mean the cowardly and almost 
universal practice of carrying a dirk-knife. This instru- 
ment, which, like the Italian stiletto, is only fit for the 

"rough AND TUMBLE." 153 

hand of an assassin, is displayed upon every occasion. 
It has ordinarily a blade about six or eight inches long, 
sharp on boih sides toward the point, and comes out of 
the handle by a spring, which also prevents its closing 
on the hand of ilie owner. I have seen several well- 
dressed Kentuckians, who would piobably ihink them- 
selves injured if ihey were not considered gentlemen of 
the first grade, picking their teeth wiih these elegatit 
pocket companions, in public; and I have repeatedly 
seen them, while engaged in conversation, employ their 
hands in opening and shutting this dirk-spring, as a Lon- 
don dandy on the stage raps his boots and shakes his 
watch-seals, or someiimes in real life, for want of ma- 
nual employment, draws his glove on and off, or smooths 
down the felt of bis hat. 

Now% I would ask any candid Kentuckian, from what 
" chiv' Irons" precedent (which epithet they are very 
fond of applying to themselves), or from what principle, 
just, noble, or Christian, is this habit derivable? Man 
is sufficiently irascible, and when angry, prone enough to 
inflict injury on his fellow-creature, without deliberately 
furnishing himself with a weapon calculated to occasion 
death, or permanent m.utilatioti, upon the occasion of the 
slightest dispute or ebulilion of temper. I believe it is 
Virgil, who, in describing a savage popular tumult, says, 
"Furor arma ministrat ;" and surely experience tests its 
truth ; but this people determine, that the voice of rea- 
son or reflection sliall not have one moment to whisper 
a suggestion, but that their passions (naturally hot and 
ungovernable) shall never want a sudden and deadly 

It might be supposed, that the coarse and brutal me- 
thod of lighting, still frequently adopted in this state un- 
der the name of " rough and tumble,", is sufficiently sa- 
vage to satisfy the parties concerned. In this, as is 
well known, they tear one another's hair, bite off noses 
and ears, gouge out eyes, and, in short, endeavour to de- 

* This subject is well illustrated by the words in which Macbeth ex- 
presses his determination to murder the wife and children of MacDufF; 
— " The very firstlings of my heart shall be the firstlings of my hand f* 
— ^Act iv. 8C. 1, 


slroy or mutilate each other ; but this is not considered 
sufficient, and Birmingham and Pittsburgh are obhged to 
complete by the dirk-knife the equipment of ihe " chi- 
valric Kentuckian." I am fully aware that the stories 
current respecting " gouging" are exaggerated, and mostly 
invented ; and I am also aware, that many gentlemen, 
especially among those of advanced age, in Kentucky, 
disapprove of these practices; but the general argument 
remains nevertheless untouched; the " rough and tum- 
ble" fight is still permitted by the spectators ; and if two 
angry men have one another by the throat, and there is 
no check upon their fury, either in their own feelings and 
habits, or in public opinion, the result in any country 
would be similarly savage. They may formerly have 
had an excuse for constantly carrying a weapon, when 
their houses and famihes were hourly liable to be sur- 
prised by the war-whoop of the Indians ; but against 
whom is the dirk-knife now sharpened? against brothers, 
cousins, and neighbours ! 

One feature that I have always admired in the English 
character, and, indeed, have looked upon wiih envij (as 
iny own coimtrymen, especially the Highlanders, have it 
not), is their contempt for all lethal weapons, and their 
honest determined support of fair play in all personal ren- 
counters. If a combatant in England were to practice 
any "rough and tumble" tricks, such as kneeling on a 
man's throat or chest when on the ground, or gouging, or 
biting, he would receive a hearty drubbing from the 
spectators, and conclude the entertainment (in my opin- 
ion very deservedly) in the nearest horse-pond in which 
he could be immersed. I trust that the progress of 
civilization, and increasing weight of a sounder public 
opinion, will soon put a stop to the custom above cen- 
sured, which is not confined to Kentucky, but is more or 
less prevalent in the whole valley of the Mississippi, 
especially in Louisiana. 




Leave Cincinnati for Louisville —Reminiscences.— Louisville.— Re> 
publican Incongruity.— Swearing in the Western Stales.— Start for 
Lexington —Beautiful Scenery.— Curious Sermon.- Arrival at Lex- 
ington — MeetiniT with Miss Martineau.— General Shelby's Farm. 
— Situation of "Lexington.— Its pubhc Institutions.— Sv stem of 
Education in America— Lunatic Asylum.— Evenmg Parlies— Mu- 
sical Soiree.— A Serenade— Mr. Clay.— Return to Louisville.— 
Embark f.r Saint Louis —Passage down the Ohio.— Robbers' Cave. 
—The " Father of Waters." 

On the 4th of June I left Cincinnati for Louisville, on 
board the Benjamin Franklin. The Ohio slill preserved 
the dignity and majesty of its course ; and I sat on the 
second and cooler deck of tlie steamer, being partly re- 
covered from my late attack, but with my mind and body 
both somewhat depressed by its influence. Jn this mu- 
sing melancholy mood did I look on the mighty stream 
beneath, and the undulating banks on each side, crowned 
with every variety of hue and form thai the forest-trees, 
those vegetable giants, could assume; and memory led 
me back to those joyous and never-to-be-forgotten scenes, 
which the annual recurrence of this day used to bring 
with it, when celebrated by Eton's sons under old Wind- 
sor's lowers. Then, indeed, " all was sunshine in each 
breist." The emulation of the rowers— the cheers of 
their respective supporters— the gallant display of ban- 
ners and steerers' dresses— the military bands— made the 
time-honoured fortress walls echo to the national anthem, 
and many a young heart beat, and many a young cheek 
glowed, with a foretaste of the part which they were one 
day destined to take in Britain's glories. Alma Mater, 
Fiona ! thy sons little know how they love thee until 
many years after they have bidden thee farewell : then 
they turn back to thee with fond and grateful recollec- 
tions, such as now occupied my musings on Ohio's 


In twelve hours we reached Louisville, having then run 
one liundred and fifty miles from Cmcinnali, through 
scenery resembhng,both in beauiy and cliaractcr, that, be- 
fore described above the latter town ; for Indiana, which 
lies on the north-western bank of tlie Ohio, at this pari of 
its course, is vying with its neighbours in improvement ; 
and nature has given it extensive tracts of fine soil, which 
tJie tide of immigration is rapidly reducing to cultiva- 

Louisville is a very active busy town, containing about 
twenty thousand inhabitants. In the spring, and early 
part of summer, it is crowded by fugitives from the 
neighbourhood of New Orleans, on their way to their va- 
rious places of refuge from heat and disease. The ho- 
tel is a spacious building, and might be called handsome, 
had it not been finished in so slovenly a manner, that, 
although I saw it only a year after it was opened, the 
plasier was soiled, and in some places broken up; and 
the house itself looked as if it had been built more years 
than It had seen months. In front, there is a large por- 
tico, supported by ten columns, behind which are the 
lounging-rooms for the guests ; and in summer, the siiade 
of the portico renders it both a templing and agreeable re- 
sort. The proprietors were very attentive ; and one of 
them, agood-looking gentlemanly man, about thirty years 
old, was so much more smartly and gayly dressed than 
any of the company (myself included), that I thought 
he must be a Frenchman from New Orleans, and thus 
inquired his name and occupation. 

No one who has visited only the Atlantic cities can be- 
lieve in the social republicanism of America. I think I 
have before noted in this journal, that it does not exist 
there : distinctions of wealth and family, and those, too, 
well defined and strongly marked, have already appeared, 
accompanied by a criterion apparently trifling, but, in 
my opinion, bearing strong evidence, namely, "coals of 
of arms," and other heraldic anti-republican signs, which 
are daily gaining ground. At present, the West presents 
a much truer })icture of republicanism, because the 
equality existing elsewhere in theory, exists here in fart : 
nor did I see one individual (for instance) in Louisville 


having more the appearance of a gentleman than the 
holel-keeper before menlioned. In this respect, he doubt- 
less lias great advantages over those who follow a similar 
avocation in Brilain. 

Bui mark here the incongrQity of habit and prejudice. 
The Louisville tavern-keeper, who is called, and is, as 
mucli of a genileman as any of his guests, wails upon 
ihem at the bar, ih mixing various beverages, and al din- 
ner wlien he carves standmg, and fiequenlly hands a 
plate, or performs some smiilar triflina service; while 
the American ^'operative'^ \Ad, will not accept any place 
as a personal attendant — would feel himself degraded by 
brushing a coat, or washing a tea-cup, or tea-spoon, 
or acting in what he would term a " menial" capacity. 
On the other hand, John Bull, in the lower class, seeks 
with avidity the comforis of "domestic" life, in the suc- 
cessive grades of stable-boy, groom, and coachman, or 
house-boy, footman, ai d butler ; while the aristocratic 
hotel-iieeper in London, or one who wishes to move in 
second-rate society, does not permit the association of his 
name wiih trie hotel, would as S' on walk over hot iron 
as attend the public table, or mix brandy-toddy, and is 
only known as a re>:pectable gentleman driving his gig 
to and from his Hampstead villa, or as a smart and con- 
stant aiiendantat 'I'aitersall's, or enjoying his great incog, 
at some fashionable watering-place. There are many 
«xcej_ lions lo this latter remark (and I think these hotels 
the most agreeable, either in town or country, where the 
master of the house superintends in person); but there 
are cases enough to mark the contrast of character in 
reference to which [ made the observation : for instance, 
how many of the ladies who have lived weeks and months 
at the Clarenden Hotel in London have seen the owner ^ 
how many know his name ? and how many are aware 
that he is proprietor of several other establishments, the 
guests in which know as much of him as themselves 1 
Few could answer affirmatively. 

J went out to the race-course, as the spring race-meet- 
ing was going on, and saw one or two heats run in very- 
good time. There was but a small attendance, either 
of beauty or fashion, and I did not stay long enough to 

Vol. L— O 


avail myself of the opportunity which such a scene of- 
fers, for making observations on the more ron^h and un- 
polished portion of society ; indeed, the swearing of some 
of ihe lower orders in the West, especially among the 
horse-tradeis and gamblers, would shock ears accustom- 
ed lo the language of Billingsgate or a London gin-shop, 
so full is it of blasphemy ; and uttered in a deliberate 
and determinate tone, such as to induce the belief that 
the speaker really wishes tlie fulfilment of the curses 
which he imprecates. I have heard the vulgar oaths of 
many countries, as the French, the Enolish, the Irish, 
and Scotch, (which three last have different safety-valves 
of wrath), the Dutch, the German, the llalian, and the 
Portuguese : of course, they are all vulgar, all more or 
less blasphemous and disgusting to the ear ; but I never 
heard them so offensive, or so slowly and deliberately 
uttered, as in the mouths of the western and south- 
western Americans. It is but justice to the United 
States to say, that this is a vice not generally prevalent, 
and is held much in the same estimation there as it is in 

]jouisville is an active and thriving town ; but, like all 
the others in the West, wretchedly lighted and paved at 
present. It is necessary to mark these two words, as in 
this most wonderful portion of this wonderful continent, 
observations of a condemnatory nature are not likely to 
be true for more than twelve months. After remaining 
there a day, duririg which 1 was still labouring to throw 
off the yoke of my cholera oppressor, I staited for J^ex- 
ington, in Kentucky, to see a portion of that fine state, and 
to pay a visit lo its brightest ornament, Mr. Clay, to 
whose eloquence and statesman-like qualities I have in 
a former chapter referred. 

The scenery between Louisville and Lexington is un- 
dulating, rich, and varied, and I could not have seen it at 
a more favourable season than this, when the thick- 
pressed ranks of rye were waving in every direction, the 
young corn was just sprouting, and the clover in full and 
luxurious bloom ; the woods, also, were adorned by a 
variety of trees which I had not before noticed, as the 


coffee-tree* and others, too numerous to mention. One 
thino^ alone was vvanlin^ to mv enjoy nrient of the scene, 
that°one was healih ! without which a terrestrial paradise 
would be a desert. I had not been able to shake off my 
pertinacious choleric enemy, and suffered much from his 
repeated attacks ; however, despite the effects thereby 
induced upon my spirits, when the bright moon arose, 
and tipt with silver thehght and graceful twigs of black- 
w^alnut and locust-trees, and ihe taint breeze waved their 
tresses in relief against the dark masses of oak, and 
other impenetrable shades which resisted her beams, it 
was impossible not to feel, admire, and even enjoy the 
peaceful beauty o( the scene. At least, I was "o^ Pf^ss- 
ed in regaid to time, for the staoe being full, I had hired 
a. sor.y horse and ffig, from which I was fain to content 
myself with extracting four miles an hour; and that, too, 
with considerable expenditure of exertion and whipcord. 
On the following morning, which was Sunday, 1 found 
myself rather better, but still weak and in pain from the 
evils which follow in the train of cholera; 1 went, how- 
ever, to the Presbyterian church (Frankfurt), where I 
heard a curious sermon, contending, from the analogy 
of nature to numerous texts in Scripture, that there is 
bnt one way in which man can be saved, and bu^t one 
right and saving faith among the various sects of Chris- 
tianity. The argument was sometimes well supported ; 
bu* the discourse appeared to me to fall into an error 
very common to such subjects, namely, to prove too much. 
r arrived on Monday evening at Lexington, much im- 
proved in health. This is a neat pleasant town, contain- 
incr a considerable number of locust-trees, and small 
gadens, which give it a cheerful appearance, while 
thev afford the occasional luxury of shade. 

Mr. Clay's residence is about a mile from the town, 
situated in a pretty woodland scene, somewhat resem- 
bling an Encriish park. His son-in-law, Mr. E— , 
lives about half a mile nearer to the town, on a plea- 
sant farm called Woodlands. At the house of this gen- 

*More commonly known as the Bonduc. In Botany, Guilandina 


tlemen, T was agreeably surprised at meeting Miss Mar- 
tineau, who had been tliere on a visit during the las!, 
fortnight. This lady's writings are too well known to 
require any comment upon them here. 1 differ from 
many of her opini( ns, but nobody can deny her pos- 
session of great talent, or refuse her the merit of writing 
in a clear, consise, and elegant style : moreover, her 
conversation is agreeable, lively, and varied ; displaying 
a mind both strong and original, a judgnnent very deci- 
sive, though not without prejudice, and a quickness of 
observation and comparison, that render her an cnter- 
laming as well as an instruciive talker. 

In company with this pleasant party I went to see a 
farm, about nine miles from Lexinfjion, beionffinor to 
General Shelby, " liis gentleman has the name of being 
one of the best cattle-breeding farmers in Kentucky ;. 
and he certauily did show us a large and most excellent 
stock both of cattle and mules. The former are mosily 
crossed, more or less nearly, from the Durham breed ; one 
lot, of three years old, was in prime order, and would 
have extracted a nod of app obation from a Lincolnshire 
grazier. They were probably worth heie about seventy 
dollars, or fourteen pounds a-head. iMr. Shelby told me 
thai last year he sold a lot of fifty, averagmg twelve 
hundred weight each ! The mules are becoming the 
most lucrative farm stock in this stale ; they are found 
to be so much more serviceable and tough than horses^ 
especially on plantations worked by slaves, where they 
aie apt to be ill-fed and ill-atiended to ; a good mule sells 
here for a hundred and fifty dollriis, which is a very high 
price for a horse. As an illustration, I will merely 

mention one instance, given to me by Mr. E . He 

bought a fine female ass, two years ago (in foal), for one 
hundred dollais; she produced a fine male, which he 
sold for four hundred dollars; she produced a foal again 
this spring, for which be ha& refused three hundred dol- 
lars ; and he sold the dam herself lately for six hundred 
dollars; so, from this instance there was a clear gain of 
twelve hundred dollars from one ass in two years ! Mr. 
Shelby has a great number of mules ; he sold last year 
3000 dollars' worth of them. His pastures are on a fine 


virgin soil, well shaded by noble forest tinnber, with here 
and there an open glade (something like an English 
park). It is scarcely creditable, but undoubtedly true, 
as i have it from the lips of these gentlemen in company, 
that this beautiful farm of two thousand acres, logether 
with another in the neighbourhood (of eighteen liundred 

acres), was bought by Mr. S 's father for an old rifle ! 

— at least, for a rifle, whether old or new I know not 1 
The property is now worth at least sixty dollars an acre 
(besides the houses, &c.), which, according to Cocker, 
would give a sum of 45,000/. sterling, as the value of 
an estate sold only fifty years since for a rifle ! It makes 
one angry to see or hear of such luck happening to a 

fellow-worm ; and when I looked at General S , I 

almost felt that I had as good a right la the farm as he 

Lexington stands in a large, elevated, and fertile plairr. 
There is scarcely a hill to be seen in the neighbourliood ; 
but an endless succession of foliage, and corn of every 
description. On this account it is called the garden of 
Kenlucky, and its inhabitants make verv heavy demands 
upon the admiration of the visiter. For myself, I never 
could enjoy or appreciate the beauty of a complete level 
in any part of tiie world, and, however diversified by- 
gardens, villas, woods, and crops, mv eye always looks 
for water and for hills, without which no scenery can 
have any charm for me. This may be very wrong, biit 
I cannot help it ; neither can I participate in the raptures 
whicli some express when ihey get upon the top of a 
church, and boast of being able to see on every side a 
boundless plain, terminating only in the horizon. 

There are several excellent institutions in Lexington : 
a theological seminary, one of the professors of which 
is a young English clergyman (minister, also, of the 
episcopal church here) ; he seems a very interesting 
young man ; his branch of instruction is chiefly in the 
Eastern languages ; and he assured me that he had seve- 
ral students familiar with the Hebrew, Syriac, and Chai- 
dee. He says, that the capacity of the young men in 
this part of the world is very good, and that there are 
fewer book-dances than he remembers at schools in the 



old country; but the generality of them are very badly 
grounded in the classics. The process of menial cuhi- 
valion in America is somewhat analogous to their agri- 
cultural system ; in both rases they look too extensively 
to the quantity of produce immediitely to be obtained, 
and pay too little attention to the cullure and improve- 
ment of the soil. It has been often remarked, that an 
American course of collegiate education, extends over a 
field that would occupy a man of good abiliiies forty 
years to master; but a student is supposed to have tra- 
velled over it in three or four years : and he may have 
travelled over it; but it is with tlie same advantage as 
some of our fashionable London loungers travel over 
Switzerland and Italy, as fast as well-paid postilions 
and a light britchka can take them — they have seen 
Mount Blanc, and been over the hjimplon ; they have 
visited St. Peter's and the Coliseum ; have sat in a gon- 
dola and seen the Bridge of Sighs ; have eaten ice and 
macaroni in view of the Bay of Naples ; and have yawn- 
ed admiration before the Apollo, the Venus, and the Car- 
toons !. Then they return — travellers ! 

With equal advantage is a youth educated on the en- 
eyclopoedia system, so pernicious to industry or to ster- 
ling knowledge and acquirement. The young men who 
acquire a tasi.e for reading is singularly small in Ameri- 
ca. They will tell a stranger who makes this observation, 
that they are too busy, that they are engaged in mercan- 
tile and other affairs. This, in fact (though a plausible 
one,) is only an excuse ; they have time enough to give 
to the theatre, the dance, the race-course, the iroiting- 
match, the billiard-table, the tavern-bar. &c., but to find 
a young man, having left college five years, who could 
read Pindar and Euripides, or even Horace and Juvenal, 
for pleasure, would be no easy task — at least among those 
whom I have seen at New York and the other cities in 
the United States. 

To return from this digression to Lexington. There 
is a college here also, which does not seem to be in a 
very flourishing state; but a professor is expected soon 
from New England, who is to establish its reputation 
for literature and discipline. There is also an orphan 


asylum, and one for lunatics ; which latter, like all simi- 
lar insiitutions in America, is conducted wiih regularity 
and cleanliness, as well as with a praiseworthy atientiou 
to all the comforts of which tlie unfortunate inmates are 
capable. In one respect it differs from any that I have 
visited elsewhere, that 1 was admitted to see the female 
part of the estabhshment. I did not stay there long, for 
I cannot bear to see that lovely temple in ruins. Some 
cases, indeed, of monomania and aberration of mind I 
could contemplate with curiosity and interest; but wo- 
man in the lowest state of mental or moral degradation^ 
is a spectacle not to be looked upon without painful com- 

Among the men was a presbyterian clergyman, a na- 
tive of Ireland. He was still so wedded to his profes 
sional dignity, that he would not put on a shirt unless it 
was marked " the reverend." His only companion was 
an old copy of Virgil. He said, he only read the first 
six books of the ^neid. I asked him to read me twenty 
lines ; and, under pretence of not understanding them^ 
prevailed upon him to construe them, which he did with 
great fluency, without hesitation or mistake. 

1 went to two evening panics ; and although a person 
disposed loquiz might have found exercise for his child- 
ish satire, 1 saw nothing that would not meet a parallel 
in the society of the larger provincial towns in Britain,. 
and I do not therefore feel inclined to lake upon myself 
the invidious office. 

At the table of Mr. Clay I met a young gentleman. 

from Germany, of the name of V , on his travels, 

and heard witli much pleasure, that he proposed going to 
St. Louis, which was also my own destination. I went 
with him to a musical soiree, at the house of a German,, 
who had been many years in this country, and was com- 
mander-in-chief of all the musical department in Lexing- 
ton, from the church-organ down to the boarding-school 
" solfetjgio."^ He was extremely polite ; and the evening 
passed off rather formally, but tolerably well. When 
the ladies retired, I also was about to leave the house, 

as was Mr. V ; but he pressed us to remain and 

take o?2e stirrup-cup in the old German fashion, of punck 


made from the true Rhenish. We did so. We began 
to sing German songs. Each glass of punch was suc- 
ceeded by some toast or chorus Iroin ihe same country, 
and at length the slumberi/ig national ardour of our host 
was aroused ; ihe smuotli, qiuet manner of the Ameri- 
can music-master was laid aside, as, with clenched liand 
and glowing cheek, he gave us some of the spirit-stirring 
lays of Schiller and of ihe heroic Korner. 

ye temperance societies ! how many gallons of your 
inanimate slops might be consumed before ye could in- 
spire the enthusiasm, or invoke the recollections which 
our Rhenish bowl awakened, as its noble juice brought 
the lono estranged son of Germany back to the Rhuie, 
and iis thousand legends of love, romance, and glory ! 

We separated about two in the morning, and on our 

way homeward, V and J (agreeably to a litile pre- 

engnged plan of his with some of the inmates) betook 
ourselves to a large boardmg-house, surrounded by a 
thick grove of trees, wherein dwelt a considerable num- 
ber of young ladies, whom we had met at the preceding 
parties, and whom we now proposed to serenade. Inde- 
pendently of a good natural voice, V was an adept 

in the Tyrolese slyle of singing, or ugling, which I was 
sure that the fair KentucKians would hear with surprise 
and pleasure. Accordingly we placed ourselves under 
the windows, and commenced our ijleep-uiurdering at- 
tack by several German, '['yrolese, and Scotch songs; 
we could distinctly perceive various pairs of eyes peer- 
ing through the Venetian blinds, and went away suie of 
having awakened them, and trusting not to have incurred 
their displeasure. We left Lexington early next morn- 
ing ; but before our departure we heard that they were 
by no means wrath at our infraction of their rest ; they 
were much pleased with the Tyroles^e us^lim}, but would 
not believe that it was produced by the human voice 
unassisted by an instrument. 

1 was very sorry to leave Mr. Clay and the interesting 
society which I met in his son-in-law's bouse. Mr. 
Clay himself is very frank ;md agreeable in conversation, 
especially in regard to politics ; he is singularly mild and 
candid in talking over the persons and opinions of vari- 


ous parties in the United States, most opposed to himself ; 
but the place to see him in his glory is certainly the 
senaie — there he is powerful and commanding in his 
eloquence : he has not cultivated those branches of po- 
lite iiieraiure for which Mr. Webster and several other 
senators are remarkable in private life. 

We returned to Louisville, and took the first steam- 
boat bound for St. Louis, which is about six hundred 
miles north-west by water : when we embarked, there 
were about sixteen steam-boats, all of a large class, lying 
at the wharves ; indeed, this town is scarcely inferior to 
Cincinnati in the wonderful rapidity of its improverrjents. 
I had a long conversation with an elderly gentleman, 
who owns a considerable number of houses and lots of 
land, which he sells off for the erection of buildings : 
according to his account, almost all the money which he 
had thus invested leiurned him about twenty per cent. ; 
the Louisville Savings' Hank gives eicrhl per cent, on 
deposits ; and he assured me that any capitalist of good 
judgment might mvesl money upon excellent security at 
twelve or fourteen per cent. This may be perfectly true 
at the present date, but it by no means follows that such 
a stale of things should be durable. 

The passage down the Ohio from this town to the 
Mississippi is, if possible, more beautiful than above; 
the bluffs are bolder, the banks higher, and the stream 
is more enlarged and magnificeni, extending to a breadth 
of a mile and a half. We lav to, under a high project- 
ing rock, to visit a cave, celebrated as having been the 
refuge of a desperate band of robbers who infested this 
part of the country some years ago, led by a man named 
Mason, for whose head the legislature of Illinois (or one 
of the neighbouring stales) offered a reward of 1000 dol- 
lars. He was betrayed and shot by two of his asso- 
ciates. The cavern is about forty feet deep, twenty-five 
wide, and fifteen high ; but the most extraordinary part 
of it is a natural aperture in the centre of the roof, large 
enough to admit one man at a time, and opening upon 
another chamber of similar dimensions to the one below. 
The current report of the country is, that when this den 
of thieves was discovered and broken up, it contained 

166 THE 

great quanlities of gold, silver, silks, sluffs, and false 
money, with an apparatus for coining it. 

It was midnight when we joined the " Father of Wa- 
ters," so [ rose with the eailiest dawn to pay him my 
homage. I cannot deny that my first feeling was disap- 
pointment; he is not much broader than the lower part 
of the uhio, while his siream is exiremely muddy, and. 
his banks low and tame; it is only when you ascend 
the mighty current for fifty or a ijundred miles, and use 
the eye of the imagination as well as that of nature, that 
you begin to understand all his might and majesty. You 
see him fertilizing a boundless valley, bearing along in 
his course the trophies of his thousand victories over the 
shattered forest — here cairying away large masses of soil 
with all their growth, and there formin^r islands, destin- 
ed, at some fuiure period, to be the residence of man; 
as you approach Saint Louis, these islands become more 
frequent — the banks more lofty and picturesque ; and 
while indulging in this prospect, it is then time for reflec- 
tion to suggest that the current before you has flowed 
through two or three thousand miles, and has yet to travel 
one thousand three hundred more before reaching its 
ocean destination. 

A strancrer, however, cannot endure the dirty and mud- 
dy appearance of the water, althouah he is told (and with 
truth that, when placed in a barrel or any other vessel, 
and allowed to settle, it purifies very rapidly, and becomes 
excellent drinking water, leaving a sediment of extreme 
depth and density. 

All travellers in this part of the world have agreed, 
that the Missouri has been ill-used in having its name 
merged, after its junction with the Mississippi; whereas 
it is the broader, the deeper, the longer, and, in every 
respect, the finer river of the two: the cause of this 
apparent incongruity was explained to me in a manner 
equally simple and satisfactory. When the French first 
visited this great valley, they came from Canada, and 
descended the Mississippi ; and seeing anotlier river fall 
into it at right-angles, near Saint Louis, they naturally 
viewed it as tributary to the mighty stream whose course 
they followed, and whose name they preserved ; forge't- 

ST. LOUIS. 167 

ting that, in the natural, as well as in the poliiiral world, 
the tributary may often possess more power than he to 
whom he is supposed to owe feahy. 


Situation of St. Louis. — The Catholic new Church. — General Clarke.— 
Embark for Fort Jieavenworth. — Requisites f(ir a Tour on the Prai- 
rie. — The Missouri — Rapidity of its Sream. — Islands — Fatal Case 
of Cholera. — Chargefal Climate. — Floating Obstructions. — Settle- 
ments on the Missouri. — Scarcity of Game. — Gigantic Trees. — Fer- 
tility of the Soil — Precarious Navigation — .Magnificent Thunder- 
storm. — State of Health on board the Steam-boat. — Tedious Prot/ress. 
Mouth of Osage River — Indian Painting. — Town of Booneville. — 
Price of Provisions. — Narrow Escape. — Village of Liberty.— Outfit 
for the Prairie. — .A small Prairie. — Swampy Wood.— Reception at 
Fort Leavenworth— Prospect from the Heights in its Neighbourhood. 
— Indian Tribes — Commemoration of the 4th of July. — Pawnee 
Visiters. — Indian Chorus — Picturesque Scene. — Arrangements to 
accompany the Pawnees to their Nation. 

The silualion of St. Louis is admirably adapted for a 
great inland commercial city, as it is built upon a gradual 
slope rising from the river. Behind it are hioh and airy 
plains, which admit of its being extended advantageously 
in any direction. It is already the emporium of trade be- 
yond the Mississippi, and the nucleus of al! the traffic 
with the Indians ; and in proportion as the resources of the 
vast western region are developed, JSt. Louis will proba- 
bly increase in wealth and population. Tlie streets are 
narrow, ill-paved, and ill-lighted : and there are but few 
buildings claiming the traveller's attention, either by their 
magnitude or beauty. 

I was told that the Catholic new church deserved all 
admiration ; but I could by no means afford it mine, as 
it is a very large building, with a sort of Grecian portico, 
surmounted by a kind of steeple, much too diminuiive 
in its proportions, and surrounded by sundry ornametits, 
which I sliould have been quite unable to describe, had 
not my Gernian companion called out upon seeing ihem, 
" UiOlt bewahr, sie sehen gerade wie bettpfeiler aus." 
♦' By ! they look exactly like bedposts !" I did not, 


on this occasion, have an opportunity of seeing llie inte«» 
rior of the building. 

I wished to stay a short lime at Sf. Lonis, being de- 
sirous to see its society, and having just made the ac- 
quaintance of the veteran General Clarke, whose tra- 
vels tu the Rocky Mountauis are well known to all 
general readers, and who had probably gained more 
laureis than any naan living in contests with the buffalo, 
the grisly bear, and the wild Indian. He was, during 
my visit to St. Louis, Superintendent of Indian Affairs 
for the United States, and was held in high respect and 
estimation by the various tribes composnig that hetero- 
geneous race.* Mv plans were, however, frustrated; 
for, hearing that a sieamer was to start in a few hours 
for ihe Upper Missouri, and tliat I might not get another 
similar opporiunily, I thought it advisable to seize it, and 
accordingly embarked on board the steam-boat Han- 
cock, bound for Fort Leavenworth. 

I employed the few hours which intervened in provid- 
ing myself with some of the most obvious requisites 
for a lour on the prairie ; such as saddles, lilankets, &c., 
and a few trifling presents for the Indians whom I migh 
wish to propiiiale. Taking wiih me as little luggage as 
possible in saddle-bags, I set forth upon a tour of which 
it was impossible for me to fix the locality or extent ; 
but having for its object the iiianners and habits of the 
extreme West, and of the tribes beyond the American 

It was with extreme regret, tliat I learned we must 
pai^s the confluence of the Missouri and Mississippi in 
the night, as I wished to observe the different colours of 
their respective streams, which are as remarkably dis- 
tinct as those of the Rhine and its tributary Moselle. 
At daybreak we were already in the Missouri, which 
appeared almost as large, as muddy, and as rapid as the 
river below St. Louis. The banks are well-wooded and 

* The veteran has Jeparted this life since the above remarks were 
written. By most of the tribes on the Missouri he was called their 
*' Father," or " Sandy-haired Father ;" as the President of the United 
States is, in all their talks or treaties, styled their "Great, or Grand, 
Father." 1839. 


undulating ; and in this respect I was agreeably disap- 
pointed, as I liad been led to believe that we were to pass 
merely through a flat prairie country. The most re- 
markable feature in this mighiy stream is its rapidity,* 
and the huge masses of timber thus hurried on to the 
ocean. Large trees are seen in every direction, and in 
every stale, from the dangerous "snag," with his head 
justripphng liie water which hides him, to the monarch 
of the forest, with all his '^ blushing honours thick upon 
him." Here and there vast masses of wood are collect- 
ed, bearing almost the appearartce of timber seasoning 
in harbour; and in other places they are already so 
consolidated with settled mud, that the elements of vege- 
tation begin to appear; and the prophetic observer sees 
before him an island destined one day to be, perliaps, 
both populous and fertile. 

Tfiere is nothing that conveys a better idea of the 
magnitude and power of this noble river, than the islands 
which he has formed in his descent; one of those we 
passed on the first day, was eight miles long and one 
mile broad, covered with timber, and the few places 
cultivated giving already ample evidence of the richness 
of the alluvium. 

We were rendered somewhat uneasy by the state of 
health on board, several cases of cholera havincr occur- 
red, one of which terminated fatally. The sufferer was 
buried in a retired and beautiful forest spot, where no 
surviving friends or relatives will visit his tomb, which is 
in one of the loveliest recesses of a temple now dedica- 
ted to Silence and Solitude! It will not be long, how- 
ever, ere it echoes to the sound of the axe, and becomes, 
perhaps, a busy mart of traffic, or a thriving farm. 

* It is difficult for a mere passing traveller to form an estimate of the 
speed of the stream on which he is sailing ; it requires patient obser- 
vation and experiment. As I had neither time nor means for doing it 
accurately, it may be as well to repeat here, that, according to Lieute- 
nant Clark and Major Long, the average rapidity of the Missouri is 
about a fathom per second (very little more than four miles per hour) ,♦ 
but in running over sand bars and other impediments, it often doubles 
that rapidity : Its mean descent is somewhat less than live inches to the 
mile, which is much the same as that of the Amazon and Ganges, ac- 
cording to Major Rennell. 

Vol. I.— P 


The disease did not appear at first in its most viru- 
lent form, and we entertained great hopes that the de- 
stroyer would not long hover over our vessel, as we were 
crowded into a small cabin, and were not going at more 
than two or three miles an hour, owing to the imnriense 
force of the current. I never experienced or conceived 
such changeful or unhealihy weather. On the 20th the 
heat was most oppressive ; we sat at half past nine p. m. 
on the deck, perspiring, without hat or coal, and could 
scarcely bear a sheet on the bed. On the 22d of June 
the cold was severe. Most of the passengers wore their 
greal-coals, and added two blankets and a coverlet to their 
bedding; we kept, moreover, a good fire in the cabin 
stove ! This change occurred in about two hours \ 
Who can wonder at the fevers, agues, and bilious dis- 
eases prevalent in such a climate? 

We were delayed by the usual accidents which occur 
on this stream, none of an alarming nature ; but the pad- 
dle boxes and buckets were repeatedly broken by the 
limber which they necessarily and frequently encoun- 
tered. The quantity of these floaiing obstructions was 
so great, that it was impossible to keep on our course by 
nighr, and consequently we did not make more than twenty 
or thirty miles each day ! I derived one advantage from 
the frequent stoppages which we made, in the opportu- 
nities thereby afforded of making excursions into the 
woods bordering upon the river. 

The settlements or clearances on the Missouri are 
generally very unhealthy, and will, probably, remain so 
for some years. The houses of the settlers are almost 
universally log huts, composed of two separate cabins, 
divided by an open space, for the circulation of air in 
sumu)er, but both covered by the same roof, which is, of 
course, composed of shingles. 

In this part of the country there are but few deer 
remaining, as the settlemenis are so numerous, and 
every settler is a hunter ; besides whicli, the season was 
unpropitious for finding game, as in summer they only 
appear in the morning and evening, and retire to the thick 
brush to protect them from the heat of the mid-day sun. 
But the beauty of the vegetable world is unparalleled; 


the trees exceed in height anything that I have before 
observed, and their variety is so great as utterly to con- 
found so unpractised a botanist as myself. As regards 
magnitude, the cotton-wood and sycamore appear to be 
monarchs of the forest ; they often rear their enormous 
trunks to forty or fifty feet, with little diminution of bulk. 
I measured one at about five feet from the ground ; it 
was nineteen feet in circumference ; but I have no rea- 
son to believe tiiat it was a remarkably large specimen.* 
These lofty trees are rendered picturesque and graceful 
by the vines which twine round their gigantic limbs, and 
hang in wavy festoons, making, in some places, natural 
arbours of impenetrable shade ; while the humbler 
brushwood is adorned with wild roses and other shrubs 
of equal and rarer beauty. 

A great proportion of the land on both sides of the 
river is occupied, and varies in price from one dollar and 
a half to five dollars per acre, according to its proximity 
to the rising villages, mills, or similar advantages. The 
depth and inexhaustible fertility of the soil are too well 
known to require comment ; whatever terms may have 
been used in describing them can scarcely be exaggera- 

It cannot, however, be denied that this favoured part 
of the country is liable to many objections : the naviga- 
tion of the Missouri is very precarious ; when the water 
is high the stream is extremely strong and rapid ; be- 
sides which it carries with it large and dangerous drifts 
of floating timber; when low, it is full of snags and 
mud bars; the navioation is impeded in the winter by 
the ice ; and the climate is variable to a degree scarcely 
credible in Europe. 

There was a magnificent thunder-storm on the night 
of the 24th, about one o'clock. I rose from my bed to 
enjoy the sight, and was amply repaid for the loss of an 
hour's sleep; the whole western sky was illuminated 
by broad and fitful sheets of lightning, so bright at limes 
as to light up the mighty river, and to show distinctly 

* I believe this tree, which I call " sycamore," is Plantanus occiden- 


the bold and varying features of its banks ; in a moment 
again all was black and slill, nighl had thrown her mantle 
over the scene, and silence resumed her empire ; then 
the thunder muttered from its distant couch, and again 
llie brilliant illumination succeeded ; the peals grew 
louder and louder, till at length they burst and rauled so 
near above us, that I could almost believe the alarmed 
forest trembled beneath their wralh. A torrent of rain 
closed the scene. I retired lo my berih deeply impress- 
ed vi^ith the might of Him whoije right hand launches 
and checks these fiery ministers ! 

Gray has been much and deservedly praised for the 
stanZfV in which he directs our attention lo the "■ flowrets 
born to blush unseen ;" but is there not as am[)le a 
theme for meditation in the parallel^ though opposite 
piciure, of the unseen wonders of the wilderness, the 
hurricane, the cataract, the whirlwind, whose mighty 
footsteps T have traced in the primitive forest, where 
whole acres of prostrate timber attest the power that 
smote them ; some broken sheer through the middle, 
others rearing their scathed and blackened tops ; some 
again of vast size bent and curved like willows, and 
others uprooted, their once lofty heads buried in the 
mighty stream destined at no distant period to swreep 
them down to ccean, or to tise them as materials in the 
formation of islands, which it is his yearly pastime to 
create? How have I longed to behold but for once this 
elemental strife, whose desolating effects are so awful ! 

My half- waking half-sleeping medititions v^^ere some- 
what disturbed b^^ finding myself, at five o'clock, soaked 
in water, owing to the bad construction of the deck, and 
I left my berth under some apprehensions of rheumatic 

The state of health on board continued most distress- 
ing ; many of the passengers were s-uffering under attacks 
of cholera in various forms ; some groaned with pain, and 
some, I believe, were ill from mere imagination and 
terror : besides the man whom we had buried a day or 
two before, two or three were landed in a dying stale ; 
one of whom was so near his latter end, that as some 
difficulty was made by the crew about carrying him 


from the landing-place to the tavern, two hundred yards 
off, he would have been left to die on the bank, as the 
poor vvretcli seemed to have neitlier friend nor acquaint- 
ance to assist him, had not a few of the cabin passen- 
gers carried him up and left him in the care of the 
tavern-keeper. I was one of this sad party, and I have 
little doubt that in less than an hour the poor sufferer 
had closed his eyes among strangers, far from the affec- 
tionate atteniions with which love and kindred are wont 
to soothe the anguish of a dying bed ! 

The banks of the river continued to present the same 
variety of bluffs and rich alluvial bottoms, and the 
weather the same change of cold, heat, wind, and rain ; 
the boat was the slowest and the most ill-arranged that I 
had yet seen in America. The boilers being leaky, and 
the machinery out of order, caused a constant succes- 
sion of delays and stoppages, consequently we did not 
make more ilian thirty miles in the twenty-four hours. 
On the 25th we passed the mouth of Osage river, one 
of the great tributaries to the Missouri; its length is 
about one thousand miles, and I believe the lower part 
of its course is through a very rich and heavily-timbered 
valley : it falls into the great river about one hundred 
miles above St. Louis. 

We passed also some [me precipitous rocks on which 
are numerous specimens of Indian painting. These 
consist chiefly of representations of strange figures 
(ChimcBrcB dirce), buffaloes, and other animals. They 
were originally red, but time and the weather have so 
worn out the colour, that they were not distinguishable 
from the part of the river where we passed, so tliat I 
was obliged to take the word of the passengers and 
other persons well acquainted with the neighbourhood ; 
moreover, I believe, they are the same as those mentioned 
in the travels of Lewis and Clarke, by the name of tlie 
Great Manitou Rocks, having been formerly sacred to 
the Great Spirit among the tribes vi\\Q inhabited this 

Among the towns which we passed, the most deserv- 

. * See Wordsworth's Sonnet to Duddon, No, xvi. 


ing of notice is Booneville, situated on a plain about 
two hundred feel above the river, of which it commands 
a beautiful view; it is surrounded by fine undulating 
woods and fertile fields. It contains shops, warehouses, 
and a court-house, besides a tavern, dignified by' the 
name of a hotel. Some of the houses are of bri( k, but 
the greater proportion are framework : it is altogether 
one of the preiliest and most promising settlements in 
Missouri, and tlie lots of land are nearly equal in value 
to those of St. Louis. 

On the opposite side of the river is Franklin : it is, I 
believe, an older settlement than Hooneville ; but is 
more low, unhealthy, and in every respect worse situated, 
as regards its prospects either of pleasure or profit. 
Both salt and coal are found in this neighbourhood ; the 
former is manufactured in a manner resembling the salt- 
works near the Ohio; ihe latter sleeps, I believe, undis- 
turbed in its bed. I" went into one house which had 
been struck by lightning the preceding night; several 
pans of the interior plastering liad been scattered about 
the- rooms, but little serious damage was done. We 
experienced one very severe siiock in the steam-boat, 
which actually trembled, but received no injury. 

In this part of liie country, beef sells at ihree pence 
per pound, chickens at two-pence halfpenny sterling, 
common horses at forty or fifty dollars, and land at va- 
rious prices, from one dollar and a half to five dollars 
per acre. 

On the 2(Jlh, nothing of any consequence occurred ; 
but we ran aground once or twice on a bar, and had one 
very narrow escape, which is worlh relating, as it shows 
the diflRculties attending tiie navigation of this extraor- 
dinary river. The pilot, who was considered one of 
the most experienced in his profession, steered us up a 
narrow channel beiween an island and the river bank ; 
and when we reached the point where it again joined 
the main stream, the passage was eflfectually blockaded 
by an enormous and solid raft of floating timber: when 
be came down a short time ago, this channel was per- 
fectly free; it uould now have defied Admiral Rodney, 
or any other bold line-breaker. A deposit of mud was 


already lodged on a considerable portion of it, and a few 
infant willows and poplars had made it iheir nursery. 

The stream was running with great velocity — ihere 
was little room for turning the steamer, and just below 
us was a most formidable snag in the mid-stream. 
After manffiuvring for at least twenty niinutes between 
this vegetable Scylla and Charybdis, the pilot succeeded 
in clearing the snag, and returning down the siream to 
seek a more favourable outlet. VVe were not aware of 
having been in any danger; but the captain aftervvards 
informed us that, if we had got across the snag, the 
boat would have split up and gone to pieces, and we 
did not miss it by more than six inches \ This may 
seem extraordinary to those who do nat know the vast 
size and bulk of the embedded tree forming the snag, 
the extretne force and rapidity of the current, and the 
slight materials of which these steamers are built : at 
all events, our captain assured us that he had rarely ex- 
perienced more uneasy sensations than during those 
few minutes. 

In spite of accidents and current, we found ourselves 
on the 9ih day, at Liberty, the last western village in* 
the United Slates. Here we were obliged to slay two 
or three days, lo make preparation for our trip into the 
wilderness. The most essential purchase was in the 
horse-market : the quantity of animals brought in for 
me to try was considerable, and in twenty-four hours I 
found myself and my companion owners of five ponies 
and a mule; being two for our own riding, one for my 
servant, and three for pockiu^. I shall make an extract 
from the account of the store where we provided our- 
selves with all ihe requisites for the prairie, as a- kind- 
of memorandum and illustration of the articles most 
necessary for an excursion among the western tribes; 

Being already provided with arms, saddles, laryettes 
or teifiers, blankets, a bear-skin, pack-saddles, and horses, 
(which last averaged about forty dollars a-piece, of a 
small size,) a box of vermilion, to make presents to In- 
dians withal, and a very small assortment of hunting 
clothes, r provided at the ontfilting store the following 
items: — 10 lbs. of lead, 6 Ibs^ of siiot, 20 lbs of coffee, 

176 OUTFIT. 

12 lbs. of salt; an assortment of rings; beads of all 
colours and sizes ; wampum* mirrors, knives, and oiher 
trifles for presents ; 24 lbs. of sugar, three pack-blankets 
and sacks, a bottle of pepper, some tin cups, a bucket, 
one copper kettle, two tin pans, a frying-pan, a jug, two 
canteens for water, two jugs for brandy, 10 lbs. of pow- 
der, 50 lbs. of bacon for frying, eating, &c. ; these, and 
a few other sundries, make a somewhat troublesome 
freight for one or two mules and ponies, especially if it 
be considered ihat the most important article is not yet 
included, nam.ely, bread or flour, in some shape or other, 
which is necessary to the extent of 70 or 80 lbs. for 
three persons, as it is a very long journey before the 
hunter can expect to find buff'alo ; and then he may be 
disappointed, as they shift iheir ground very much. 

Tlie whole of this outfit, including five horses and one 
mule, was lillle more than 300 dollars, or 60Z. 

On the 2d of July we started for Fort Leavenworth, 
the western military post of the United States ; but s i- 
nated about twenty miles beyond the states' boundary, 
in a kind of neutral ground, belonging neither to the red 
nor the wliite man, but on which both are forbidden by 
the law of the country to settle. About ten miles from 
Liberty we came to the first prairie which I had crossed 
in Missouri : it was eight miles broad, consisting of 
beautiful undulations of pasture, adorned with bright 
and various flowers, and studded with numerous little 
islands of timber, so regular in their form and so taste- 
fully disposed, as to induce the traveller to believe that 
Messrs. Knight, Brown, and other " picturesque" and 
" capability" brethren, had laid it out with the most ex- 
act care. I was quite aware that this was but a lake, 
compared to the ocean of prairie which I was yet to see 
in the far West; but as it was bounded on all sides by a 
noble forest of timber, the scenery was equally new and 

* " Wampum." Ttiis word is a corruption of " Wampampea," In- 
dian money ; so called by the Narragansets, and other tribes found in 
New Enifland by the first British settlers : it was of two liinds, white 
and black ; the one made of the shell of the periwinkle (Buccinum un,' 
datum fiin.) ; the other of that of the clam {Vaius merccnana Lin.) ; 
both belonir to the class Vermes teslacea. 


After a pleasant ride of about thirty miles, during 
which we crossed with some little difficulty ilie river 
Plalte (which freqiienlly rises or falls thirty feet in a 
week), we came to a low swampy wood, where the mud 
was about a foot or a foot and a half deep (the weather 
being firie and dry). Tiie road (if it can be so called) 
wanders ad libitum round clumps, fallen timber, and 
bushes, leaving every traveller to select the places 
where he is least likely to stick fast : and here let me 
not fail to record the high talents in strategy displayed 
by sundry light troops called musquitoes, that, wkh 
true Indian cunning, lie in ambush in this dense swamp, 
and dart out upon ihe helpless wanderer in swarms^ 
when his utmost exertions cannot urge the fleetest steed 
to a pace above a struggling walk. Arming; our hands 
with branches, like Macduff's soldiers of old, our souls 
with fortitude, and our mouths with cigars, we forced 
our way gallantly through opposing myriads without 
receiving wo/e than a thousand wounds, and arrived 
safe on the banks of the river, thankful for having 
escaped the muddy perils of the *' Missouri bottom." 

It was too late to ferry over our horses, which we 
accordingly left on the northern bank. We crossed in 
a canoe ; and, with our saddlebags on our arms, made 
good our entrance about nightfall into the fort. Most 
of the officers were absent with Colonel Dodge's ex- 
ploring expedition to the Rocky Mountains, one which 
I had been myself so anxious to join, but from Lieute- 
nant C — — , the commanding officer, and one or tWQ 
odiers who happened to be in the fort, we received thQ 
most polite and hospitable attention. 

Fort Leavenworth is situated on a promontory formed 
by a svveeping bend of the Missouri, on the southern 
side of the river, of which it commands a fine view. It 
is considerably elevated above the bed of the streams, 
and the country immediately adjacent is prairie, thick- 
ly scattered with timber and brushwood. 

At the distance af a mile from the cantonment rises 
a semicircular range of heights, to the top of which I 
soon made my way, and was repaid by as fair a prospect 
as ever gladdened the eye of man. Looking lowardi 


the north, below me was tlie fort, with its scattered 
white buildings, bearing the appearance of a neat little 
village among the trees; beyond it were seen fifteen or 
twenty while tents, being the encampment of a body of 
Indians, moving westward, under the superintendence 
of an Indian agent; their dusky and blanketed forms 
scarcely visible, as they strode from tent to tent, while 
around were browsing their mules and ponies; here and 
there might be seen two or three galloping their wild 
little steeds from one part to another of the plain be- 
low : beyond the fort was the magnificent river, here 
showing the full expansive breadth of its course, and 
there to be traced only by broken glimf)ses caught through 
the surrounding trees; while on its opposite bank rose 
the verdant and multitudinous mass of primitive forest, 
defying the eye to scan, or the mind to reduce to mea- 
surement, its acres and miles of extent. I had then but 
to turn round, and look towards the south, when llie eye 
wandered over a vast undulating prairie, and reposed at 
length upon a far distant range of hills, just discernible 
through the rich sunny haze in which they were mantled. 
In the description of scenes like these, the inefficiency 
of language is felt, and one cannot help acknowledging 
the trutli of Byron's coarse, but forcible imagery, when 
he says we become "dazzled and drunk with beauty."* 

Within twenty or thirty miles of Fort Leavenworth 
are settled a great variety of Indian tribes, most of them 
emigrants from the couritry now inhabited by the whites, 
especially from the slates of Jlliiiois and Michigan. The 
nearest to the fort are the Kickapoos, who are settled in 
a village distant from it about four miles. They are a 
weak and daily decreasing tribe ; their natural properties 
axe much changed by constant communication with the 
whites. There is a Methodist missionary resident 
among them. 

The fort is supplied with beef and other meal, chiefly 
by a farmer who lives in the Great Bottom, immediately 
opposite to it. Among other articles for the supply of 

* This idea occurs so frequently in German poetry, as to be familiar 
to every one who is conversant with the literature of that country. 


the table, one of the most abundant to be met with here, 
is the catfish. I found it somewhat coarse, but not un- 
palatable eating. These fish are caught of a most 
enormous size, and in great quantities, by the settlers, 
on the banks of tlie river; one of whom told me that he 
caught four in the course of one morning, weighing 
above fifty pounds each. 

On the 4ih of July, the usual commemoration took 
place, of firing twenty-four guns ; after which ceremony 
we adjourned to an excellent dinner ; and madera and 
champaign were the order of the day. We had spent 
an hour or two in the festivities of the table, when news 
was brought in that a hundred and fifty Pawnees had 
arrived under the guidance of Mr. Dougherty, one of 
the principal Indian agents ; and, upon an invitation 
from ttie officers, twelve or fourteen of their chief war- 
riors came into the mess-room. I had already seen 
many Indians, but none so wild and unsophislicated as 
these genuine children of the wilderness. They entered 
the room with considerable ease and dignit}?-, shook 
hands with us all, and sat down comfortably to cigars 
and madera. I was quite astonished at the tact and 
self-possession of these Indians, two-thirds of whom 
had never been in a settlement of white men before, 
nor had ever seen a fork, or table, or chair in their lives ; 
yet, without asking questions, or appearing to observe 
what was passing, they caught it with intuitive readi- 
ness, and during the whole dinner were not guilty of a 
single absurdity or breach of decorum. 

The dress of these Indians consisted of a belt of deer- 
skin round the middle, with a flap passing between the 
legs, and fastened again to the belt behind. Their legs 
were covered with tight legf^ins of deer-skin, and their feet 
by moccasins; while their shoulders were loosely and 
gracefully covered, or half covered, by a blanket or buffa- 
lo-skin. Most of them had ear-rings, bead-necklaces, and 
armlets; and the two principal chiefs wore round their 
necks a large medal each, on which was engraved the 
head of the late President of the United States. The 
greater part of them were lustv, and a few even fat, 
giving no outward evidence of the privations to which 


their mode of life renders them so liable. Generally 
speaking, they were of middle height, with fine cheais, 
arms vvell-proporiioned bill not muscular, and remarka- 
bly fine-shaped legs. I do not think there was a coun- 
tenance among them that could be pronounced hand- 
some, though several were pleasing and good-humoured ; 
but the prevalent character of their expression was 
haughty impenetrable reserve, easily di?ilinguishable 
through the mask of fiank conciliation, which their pre- 
sent object rendered it expedient for them to wear. 

As we in our mirth sang one or two choral songs, we 
called upon our red brethren. They rose all at once ; 
and I never shall forget the effect of that first Indian 
chorus which I ever heard. Each singer began, by 
strange and uncouth sounds, to work his mind and lungs 
up to the proper pitch of exciteu)enl ; and when at length 
their shrill and terrible cry rose to its full height, its 
eflect was astounding, and sufficient to deafen a delicate 
ear. Then again they would allow their strain lo fall 
into a monotonous cadence, to which they kept lime 
with inflections of the head and body, and again burst 
forth into full chorus of mingled yell and howl. 

In an hour the party broke up; and as the twilight 
was selling in, I jumped on my horse to gallop off the 
effects of wine, noise, and smoke. After ridinsr till the 
moon was pretty " high in heaven," I returned to the 
fort, and, within a few hundred yards of it, enjoyed a 
scene, only transferable to the imagination of another 
by the pencil of Rembrandt or Wouvermans. 

In the midst of the encampment, the while tents of 
which showed like snow in the moonlight, were eight 
or len large blazing fires, round which the savages 
were gathered in circles, roasting on rough sticks huge 
fragments of a newly-killed ox. The greater part of 
them were naked, except the before-mentioned belt 
round the middle ; and their dusky figures, lighted par- 
tially by the fiiful glare of the crackling wood fire, 
seemed like a band of demons gathered round one of 
the fabled caldrons of necromancy. Recognizing one 
of the chiefs who had joined us at the dinner table, and 
Mr. Dougherty, smoking with him, in one of these grim 


circles, I and my young German friend leaped off our 
horses, which an Indian held for us, and advanced to 
wards the chief. Room was immediately made, and a 
buffalo-skin given us to sit upon. We shook hands, and 
smoked too-ether. ISoori the ribs of beef were declared 


"roasted," and an Indian havmg cut and torn them 
apart, laid one before Mr. Doglierty, one before the 
chief, and one before us. 

I had not much appetite so soon after a good dinner ; 
however, I had read and heard too much of Indian pre- 
judices to decline, and accordingly ate two or three 
mouthful s of half-raw meat, which would have been 
very palatable to a hunter or starved traveller. The 
scene around baffled all description : the savages scat- 
tered about in every sedentary or recumbent attitude that 
man or monkey can assume, tearing the meat from the 
bone with their strong teeth, and masticating slices, each 
of which would be ada^'s dinner to a Yorkshire plough- 
man, our horses standing in mute astonishment by, and- 
the background of the picture occupied by distant 
groups, collected also round their fires, produced alto- 
gether an effect neither to be described nor forgotten. 

Having formed a hasty, but determined, resolution, of 
accom.panying these Pawnees in their reiurn to their na- 
tion, I was anxious to derive all the benefit possible from 
the advice and assistance of Mr. Dogherly, who being 
the negotiator of all their treaties with the United States, 
and being tolerably familiar with their language, possessed 
great influence with the tribe. This gentleman entered 
most obligingly into my scheme ; he held a talk with the 
leaders of the parly ; told them that I was " a great chief 
among white men ; that t was a son or relative of their 
grandfather; and tliat, if they killed me, or did me any 
injury, I should be revenged," &c. He also gave me 
useful directions for my own conduct among them, ad- 
visincr rrie never to joke at any of their religious or " me- 
dicine" ceremonies, however absurd ; never to play or 
become too familiar with them ; to conciliate them as 
much as possible by presents, but not to allow them to 
rob me ; and, above all, if they tried to impose upon me, 
or to bully me out of any point where I was sure that I 

Vol. L— Q 


was in the right, to resist firmly, and give them the idea 
that I would maintain my object wiihout regard to my 
life. He said, that by observing these hints I might 
spend a summei among them, and probably return in 
safely, barring the accidenls that might arise from quar- 
rels, or war-parlies of hoslile tribes, and other casuaUies 
incidental to the wild irregular life in the prairie. 

We spent two or three days very pleasantly at the 
fort, and completed our preparations and packages, which 
is a much more unpleasant, or rather tiresome, business, 
than can be imagined by those accustomed to civilized 
life, where its comforts can be procured for money ; 
while in the wilderness to which we w^ere bound, the 
only resource was the rifle, and such provisions as we 
could lake. We tried in vain to get a half-blood In- 
dian, or any other attendant accustomed to camp-hunt- 
ing, and accordingly were obliged to trust ourselves alone 
with the savages, the only means of communication be- 
ing through an interpreter, who spoke very bad French, 
very good Pawnee, and no English. This seemed a 
strange and wild experiment; but having complete con- 
fidence in the agent who sanctioned our so doing, I hired 
a lad, the son of the garrison mess-man, to assist in lead- 
ing the pack-horses, cooking, &c., and set forth on the 
7lh of July. 



Pawnee chiefs with whom I started. — Leave Fort Leavenworth. — RoU- 
inor Prairie. — Halting Place. — Loss of Horses. — Flock of Perroquets. 
— Our stray Horses. — Indian Appetite. — Accidents by the Way. — 
Overtake the Pawnee Deputation. — Esculent Roots. — Deer-stalking 
in the Prairie. — A Misfortune. — Cross the Great Nimahaw River. — 
Party in Search of Elk. — Rejoin the Camp. — Tired Horse. — False 
Alarm of Chill and Fever. — The Kanzas Kiver. — My Doa killed and 
eaten. — Fatiguing Travelling. — Friendly Reception. — Effect of whis- 
key on the Indians — Indian Village — Occupations of the Men, Wo- 
men, and Children.— The old Chief— Buffalo Meat.— trder of 
March. — Pawnee Summer Lodge. — Medicine. — First Night in the 
Pawnee Lodge. — Dogs. 

The names of the four principal Pawnee chiefs wiih 
whom I started were {nearly) as follows : — 

Sa-ni-tsa-rish, or " wicked-chief," grand Pawnees ; 
Le-pre-colo-'hoo-la-charo, or *' moulh-chief," Tapage 
Pawnees ; Pa^-ta^-ia^-cha'ro,* or " man-chief," grand 
Pawnees ; Too-la-la-cha-shu, or " the man w^ho runs," 
grand Pawnees. 

Having left Fort Leavenworth with the Pawnees about 
eleven o'clock, we travelled, ratlier to the north of west, 
twenly-five miles, through a beautiful rolling prairie, in- 
terspersed with trees, which were so regularly and care- 
fully grouped as to remind me of Windsor and other no- 
ble English parks ; but these had the additional advan- 
tage of forming part of a woodland scene boundless in 
extent, and for the first ten miles the picturesque and 
broken heights which confine the Missouri increased the 
beauty of the prospect. The srass, which was extremely 
rich and luxuriant, was sprinkled with gay flowers, which 
were mostly unknown to me, although I had seen some 
as tenants of a British hothouse, as several varieties of 
the " cactus," and others, whose names, vulgar or scien- 
tific, I am unable to record. 

♦• The son of the Maha, or Pawnee Loup chief, was also with the 


We camped, vvilh our good-humoured savages, at sun- 
set, on the banks of a creek* thinly clolhed with brush- 
wood, where the mui^quiioes were not much more nu- 
merous than the flies in a sugar cupboard. Having re- 
leased our horses and mules from their saddles and 
packages, we proceeded to cook our supper, consisting 
of tea, fried ham, and sea-biscuit. The night was ex- 
tremely foggy and cold ; and, on rising at daybreak, we 
made ihe agreeable discovery that four of our animals, 
including a iriule, had broken away from their respective 
fastenings, and were nowhere to be found. 

I despatched the younirer of our attendants and an In- 
dian in pursuit; meanwhile the savages proceeded on 
their journey, leaving us in toial ignorance of ihe " lo- 
calfo^^ of our quadruped deserters. It was a dull and 
weary day, and gave ample scope for an attack of the 
blue devds. In seasons like these, when the solitude 
and monotony of the prairie are not relieved bv the ex- 
citement of travellino or the chase, the ghosts of remem- 
bered social enjoyments are apt to intrude on the vvan- 
derer's waking dreams 1 Could some of those with whom 
he has shared them, and who are still within their sphere, 
only imagine how often they are called up by fancy or 
memory to cheer the hours of absence^ I cannot but think 
it w^ould augment their happiness. By the enchantment 
thus lent by distance, the ordinary and ddily occurrences 
of social intercourse (so apt to be ungratefully passed over) 
are seen in their fairest colours, and a W'alk, a ride, a 
word, a smile, recalled to mind, become food for delight- 
iul^ though somewhat melancholy, rumination. 

I rambled about the woods near our halting- place, with 
my fowling-piece in my hand, and Peevish by my side, 
but found nothing feathered upon which to exercise my 
skill except a small flock of green Perroquets. (I be- 
lieve, the species called Psittacus rujirostris.) I killed 
half a dozen, and we cooked them for supper ; they were 
fat, and by no means unpalatable. I retained some of 
the more gay and brilliant feathers as presents for the 

* A small river or stream is invariably so denominated in this part of 
the world. 



On the following day, our lad returned with the Indian 
and two of the stray horses, leaving us minus the largest 
mule and a very preiiy liitle mare, which last I had de. 
^tinedto the honour of bearing me to charge the buffalo. 
We called a council, to decide whether we should return 
to the fort, recover the remaining estrays, and seek some 
other opportunity; or place our packages on the two re- 
maining animals, and proceed at all risks The spirit of 
adventure prevailed, and we determined to follow the 
Pawnees immediately. It should be added, more I fear 
to the praise of the horses' endurance than of our huma- 
nity, that the two recovered fugitives, one of which was 
my favourite riding-mare, had gone the whole way back 
to the fort, and thence been again ridden hard to our 
campina-place, making in all seventy-five miles, without 
rest or food, except what they could pick up by the way. 
This was not a good " preliminary" for a long journey 
of a thousand miles more or less. 

I had been hicky enough to kill a fawn, (the only 
deer seen since we left the fort,) which furnished us a 
o-ood supper, and no more; for never did \ see anyihing 
equal to the appetite of our Indian. Ribs, head, shoul- 
ders, &c., disappeared one after the other. He quietly 
ate everything placed before or near him, without the 
slightest symptom of diminished power , and I was not 
thfn aware of the incredible capacity of Indians or of 
their notion that it is impolite to decline proffered food 
under any circumstances whatsoever. 

We rode on, under a hot sun, but with a fine breeze, 
through a country rather less rich in timber and foliage 
and camped at night, iiavincr made about thirty- our mile, 
rourse W N W. Not being yet accustomed to pass the 
ThMmder the free star-lit vault, I did not sleep much; 
bul It did not matter, as my young German companioa 

slept enough for both. ■j„„,„ 

The 9lh of J»ly was a continued chapter of accidents^ 

commencing wid, a somerset P"f"""<^'' .'jy "J^ i" ^ 
mule, ,hatwas carrving about 250lbs w,l . wh,ch h^ 
attempted to scramble up a shppery bank, at 'he bottom 
of wli'r.h was a pond, about four feel deep ^ '.e the 
immortalized cat, he " tumbled headlong m, hi» whole 



load falling on him, and would probably have been 
drowned or smolliered, had not one of the men jumped 
in, and cut all the cords and thongs that bound hiin. For 
a fewminuies, our [)rovisions, consisting of sugar, flour,* 
and biscuit, as well as our presents for the Indians, such 
as powder, vermilion, tobacco, &c., remained under wa- 
ter, very much to our consternation and annoyance : nor 
do I think the strongest advocate for cleanliness and 
cold water that ever drew breath, could have viewed that 
immersion with satisfaction. The invulnerable mule 
was unhurt, and repacked. A few miles farther, he 
thought fit to amuse us with feats of activity and sleight 
of foot, galloped off the path, and did not cease kicking 
and plunging till he had deposiied every article of his 
pack on the prairie, and had totally freed himself from 
his harness, or, in the convenient language of patriots, 
the "trammels of office." This, though laughable enough, 
was scarcely pleasant, as we were in a hurry. Jt was 
impossible, however, to be angry with the little wreich, 
who had not the least vice in him, but grazed quietly 
near his late rejected load, and suffered its scattered parts 
to be replaced without any signs of alarm or discontent. 
We thus lost a great deal of time, especially as our 
attendants were extremely slow and awkward in pack- 
ing; and I know not whether the French interpreter 
nnnttered more curses upon the activity of the mule or 
the tardiness of his drivers. The anger of fate w:as not 
yet appeased ; and, after another ten miles, the poor little 
mule was again laid low in a miry creek, where he rolled 
and struggled so furiously for many minutes that I felt 
sure he must be seriously strained and injured. The 
pack was again cut off, the mule extricated and reloaded, 
and no farther accident occurred, except that another 
horse ran away with our keg of brandy, which, fell off, 
and was dragged, at a gallop, for half a mJle, over the 
"rolling prairie," and a considerable quantity escaped. 

* Before quitting the fort, I ha<3 added to our stock of provisions a 
small bag of flour carefully sown up in repeated folds of skin and wax- 
cloth; it was prepared by an experienced hunter, so as to be proof 
against wet and all other damage. I never told what it contained, be- 
ing determined to keep it as a reserve, in case of extreme necessity. 


In spile of these delays, I don't think we travelled less 
than fifty miles, having been in motion from six a. m. till 
half-past nine, p. m. 

This was a disagreeable evening: it had rained most 
of the day ; ourselves, clothes, &c., were tolerably soak- 
ed ; we could not pilch our tent ; and with some difficuhy 
got up a fire, threw some tea into a pot of boiling water, 
and mixing il with our wet biscuit, found it delicious. It 
rained all night, and all the following morning; however, 
we succeeded about mid-day in overtaking our Pawnees, 
the old chief, Sa-ni-tsa-rish, ennbraced me tenderly, and 
seemed much grieved at our having lost two horses. 
We then opened our bales, lo ascertain the amouru of 
damage done by mulish freaks and wet. We found 
most of our biscuit reduced to bad pap; many of our 
beads blackened with wet powder; and part of the ver- 
milion bestowing its rosy favours among its neighbours-, 
with an indiscriminate generosity which was by no means 
admired. Our knives were rusted, and the whole pack- 
age in poor plight. However, our povv'der and flour 
were unhurt, arid that was a subject of much satisfaction. 

The Indians assisted us most good-naturedly in spread- 
ing and drying all our "goods;" and I do not believe 
we lost the smallest article, ahhougli hundreds of them 
were standing around. We made a great feast with our 
wet biscuit and a pot of coffee, and gave as much as was 
in our power among the Indians, who had little or no 
food, except such roots as they could pick up. Of these, 
the principal was an esculent root, something between a 
potato and a radish, most greedily sought by the Indians 
when going to the Buffalo country : they are then often 
reduced to a slate approaching to starvation ; and I have 
seen these roots dug out two, three, and even four miles 
from the regular trail. I ate them, and they appear 
somewhat nutritious and not unpalatable, but under any 
other circuuistances would bethought tasteless and diffi- 
cult of digestion. They are eaten raw, and I have never 
seen any attempt to cook them among the Pawnees ; 
but they are said to be tolerably wholesome,, as well as 
palatable, when boiled or roasted. The Canadian French 
call them Pomme blanche ; "their Pawnee name 1 forget^ 


but in the Ojibbevvay dialect they are called Metus-ko- 
slie-min., or grass-berries ; and their botanical appella- 
tion is, I believe, Psoralea esculenta. Son:ie of the Mis- 
souri tribes call them Nu-ga-ie. 

^ No game had been seen or killed, and every hour's 
experience tended lo convince me of the exaggerated 
statements wilh which many Western travellers have 
misled the civilized v^orld in regard to the game on ihese 
prairies. 1 had been now five days travelling through 
them; and wilh the exception of a few grouse and the 
fawn 1 shot, had not seen anything eatable, either bird 
or quadruped. 

12ih July. — The weather continued rainy, and the In- 
dians went but a few miles ; the country became less 
rich in wood and in vegetniion of every kind, the only 
limber that we found being along the creek courses ; 
and the prairie was no longer enlivened by the flowers 
to which the eye had become accustomed. I went out 
with a hunter in search of deer : we saw one doe (elk) 
about half a mile distant, and I allowed my red friend 
to take the lead in endeavouring lo get a shot, in which 
office he appeared to me very m.uch inferior to our high- 
land deer-sialkers in taking advantage of wind and posi- 
tion of ground, although he would have proved far su- 
perior to them in following a foot-track, 'i'he doe got 
sight of us, and made off. We ran her about two miles, 
without success, and gave up the pursuit. I found it 
no joke running with an Indian up and down hill in grass 
three feet high, now and then mingled with tangled 
brushwood and shrubs. His wind seemed almost as in- 
exhaustible as his appetite, and running quite as easy to 
him as siitinor. L kept up, however, without giving him to 
understand that 1 was annoyed by the heat, and cooled 
myself now and then by wading and dabbling in the 
creek. After a walk of fifteen or sixteen miles, during 
which we saw no more deer, we returned to the camp. 

The following morning was beautiful, but was usher- 
ed in by a misfortune, which would be lightly thought 
of by those, and those only — 

" Wtio live at home at ease, 

And tittle apt to ttiink upon 
The woes of the prairies ;" 


ihe handle of my fryingpan was broken off by an Indian, 
to whom I had lent it, and our bread, parched beans, &c. 
must ihenceforward be procured at the lisk of burnt fin- 
gers. I could not evince any anger ; for all the savages 
were most obliging, brought us wood and water, helped 
to pack our luggage, and during the heat of our mid-day 
halt, made a sort of branch-arbour to protect us from the 

In llie evening, we pursued our route, and crossed the 
Great Nimahaw river, which was not too deep to ford-, 
although it immersed part of the little mule's pack. 
However, we had a solid and ample supper; as a party 
of hunters, who had been all day employed in the chase, 
had brought in two or three elk. The meat was good, 
but not so high flavoured as ordinary venison. 

The following day (the 14th) was intensely hot, and 
the journey dreary and wearisome. Our eyes were not 
gladdened by tlie sight of any edible animal ; the only 
visible creatures being larks, black-birds, f and now and 
then a hawk or buzzard. After dinner, at one o'clock, I 
started off with a party of hunters in search of elk; the 
sun was burning hot, and my Indian companions walked 
very fast on level ground and up the hills, while in every 
descent they indulged themselves with a run or long 
trot. The grass was up to our middle — I was clothed 
and they were naked — and I had to carry my solid 
double-barrelled rifle, weighing at least twice as much as 
their light fowling-pieces.:]: It may easily be imagined 

* I afterwards found that all these obliging acts of kindness were per- 
formed with the expectation of a [)roporti()nate reward ; the Pawnee 
French interpreter confessing that the Indians did nothing "sansdes- 
sein." This latter word was used by him, and I have heard it used by 
other uninstructed Canadian French, to signify almost every category 
in the moral or physical world : it often signified " malice," " design," 
"reward," " good sense," " money," &c. 

t These prairie black-birds are the tamest of the bird creation that I 
have seen in any country, exceeding in familiar impudence the licensed 
intruder on the breakfast-table of the English country-clergyman in 
winter, namely, the robin redbreast. They r^t>eatedly perched upon 
the back of the buffalo, and of our horses, saddled or unsaddled. I 
have, more than once, seen them venture upon the shoulder of a man ; 
and the young Indian boys practise their early archery by shooting them 
ai the distance of two or three yards. 

X Sines their last treaty with the United States, the Pawnees reccivQ 


ihat this amusement (with the thermometer probably 
about 120° in the sun) was rather warm: we went at 
least ten miles before we found the nearest timber, wljich 
was on the banks of the Blue river; here we saw an 
elk grazing about half a mile off. I must not forget 
to make honourable mention of myself, as having been 
the first to discover and point him cut to the Indians; 
and again I had to remark their want of skill in hunting. 
We had crepi to within three hundred yards of his leed-- 
ing-place, when a clumsy fellow showed his head over a 
neighbouring hillock, and our intended victim made off, 
and was no more seen. 

We then moved along the northern bank of the river 
for many miles, but saw no more game ; at length we 
were obliged to cross. The water was breast high, but 
not very rapid. I thought thai, being once wet, I might 
as well make the most of the opportunity ; so I deposit- 
ed my gun and ammunition in safely, and remained 
splashing and swimming about for a quarter of an hour, 
to the surprise and amusement of the Indians. After a 
fruitless walk of twenty miles or more, we rejoined the 

The 15th was again a very hot day ; the soil became 
more barren as we advanced, and the grass much short- 
er. The country resembled very much some of the 
downs in the southern part of England. We travelled 
between twenty-five and thirty miles without finding 
water; and, owing to the extreme heat and our forced 
marches, one of my horses " slopped short," or " gave 
out," which latter is the current word in the West. The 
good-natured old chief (Sa-ni-isa-rish) himself remained 
behind, and with difTiculty led on the wearied animal, 

annually a certain number of guns, as part of the payment for the land 
ceded by them on the Kanzas river. These guns are light pieces manu- 
factured at Birmingham, and cost about five or six dollars each. Some 
are tolerably good ; but the Pawnees having but lately become acquaint- 
ed with the use of fire-arms, soon destroy them, by examinino. firing 
off powder, overloading, and other follies. Some they gamble away; 
and all that they do not either lose or spoil, they exchanged with the 
Haitans and other predatory tribes in the West and S )uth for horses ; 
so that when the pay-day returns, very few efficient guns are to be 
found in the Pawnee village. 

A CHILL. 191 

and thereby did not reach our night-camp till an hour 
after we had finished our supper: this toilsome and 
harassing task he undertook unasked, and, at the lime, 
unknown to me. In what civiHzed country would the 
courtesy and kindness of hospiiaHty be carried to a high- 
er extent ? 

I was obhged to sell my jaded steed for the loan of a 
horse to carry his pack, tdl we should reach the great 
body of Pawnees, where I was assured I should find no 
difiScully in obtaining a horse, or such other assistance 
as I might require. 

Another day passed without any remarkable occur- 
rence, when the weather changed, and we were favoured 
with a cold stormy rain, which lasted all nigtit, and wet- 
ted us to our hearts' content. The followuig day was 
again intensely hot, in spile of which I felt a continual 
chill, wfiich no exercise or perspiration could remove 
for twenty-four hours. I began to think that T was to 
pay the penally of mv loner ramble in the sun, followed by 
splashing in the Blue river, and then sleeping in the same 
clothes, by a regular attack of the "chills and fever," 
alas ! so well known in the West. I had no medical 
advice; but a day's patience, some hot tea, and a good 
constitution, brought me through, and I had no return of 
the attack. 

We continued our course, which was now west-south- 
west, till we struck a branch of the Kanzas river; name- 
ly, its northern or, commonly called, Renublican Fork. 
This is one of the principal western tributaries of the 
Misstmri ; its course is genei-ally east-south-east, and it^ 
mouth is seven or eight miles above Independence, and 
twenty-five below Fort Leavenworth. As the moving 
Pawnee " village" was obliged also to cross this river, 
our parly followed its banks, west-north-west, in order 
to find the trail, with the object of overtaking them as 
soon as possible ; this w^as the more desirable, as they 
had maize with them, and we had nothing but what we 
could kill by ihe way. Our journey was monotonous; 
the country dreary and barren, both of animal and vege- 
table life ; our horses crawled wearily along, and we 
looked in vain for any fresh signs of late travel or en- 
campment. >.. 



For two or three days we continued lliis toilsome 
inarch ; almost all the horses' backs were sore, the 
wealher oppressively hot, and provisions very scarce. 
During this scarcity of provisions, it was not to be ex- 
pected thai my red friends should be very scrupulous as 
to the nature of their food, nor as to the means employed 
in procuring it ; accordingly, they conirived to entice my 
poor dog Peevish from my feet while I was asleep, and 
I am convinced, although 1 could obtain no proof of the 
fact, that ihey killed and ale her. When I awoke and 
missed her, I was sure that she had been disposed of in 
this manner, and was exceedingly vexed and angry ; but 
I was obliged to dissemble, and pretend a belief that she 
had strayed : any demonstration of vexation would have 
lowered me in the estimation of the Indians; and anger, 
unsupported by punisliment (which was in this case im- 
possible) would have made me "ridiculous." 

My two atlendanis wished most heartily to return to 
the fort, but I determined to '"'go a-head ;^^ and more- 
over, to keep the bag of flour for subsequent emergen- 
cies. We saw no game whatever, every animal hav- 
ing beei. killed or driven off by the Pa\Anees, Kickapoos, 
and other nations, who had preceded us. W^e found 
the Indian regulations for travelling very fatiguing ; 
namely, starling at four a. m., wiih nothing to eat, and 
travel hng till one, when we hailed for breakfast and din- 
ner at one time. Most of us were obliged towalk nearly 
all day, owing to the state of the horses' backs; and on 
the 20th we travelled from half-past three in the morning 
till half past eight in the evening. I heard sundry com- 
plaints and wishes for return on the part of our aitend- 
ants, but was conveniently deaf and obstinate. In truth, 
our silualion was not very pleasant ; my provisions were 
not more than sufficieni for one meal for ihe whole par- 
ty, and there was nothing eatable to be found except tfie 
miserable roots beforemeniioned. However, from the 
recen imarks which we found in several encampments, 
we knew that the Pawnee nation could not be very far 
a-head, and the hope of soon overtaking them gave a zest 
to our exertions, which made us press the horses almost 
beyond the limiis of humanity. 


A runner had been sent forward to request the chiefs 
to make a short hah in order to give our parly lime to 
come up. This Indian had walked at the head of the 
party as guide during the wliole day's journey, which 
occupied (as abovemenlioned) nearly iweniy hours ; 
when we hahed, Sa-ni tsa-rish went up to him and spoke 
a few words, upon wliich, without rest or food, he light- 
ened ihe belt round his middle and set off at a run, which 
he must have mainiained for upwards of twenty miles ; 
he had to traverse the same ground in coming back, and 
thus (reckoning our progress on a forced march at only 
three miles an hour) he must have gone over one hun- 
dred miles of ground without food or rest in twenty-four 
hours. At length he returned, bringing with him the wel- 
come intelligence that w^e were not more than twenty 
miles behind, and the no less welcome accompaniment of 
a bag of maize, made into a kind of cold porridge : this 
was, indeed, a treat, and appeared lo me as excellent a 
dish as ever I tasted ; under ordinary circumstances, it 
would not have been thought very temptmg. Again we 
pushec forward, and in about six hours came up wiih the 
rear-guard, among whom were the great chief of the 
Grand Pawnees, the great chief of the Tapages Paw^ 
rees, and the great chief of the Republicans, called by 
the French Capof-bleu* 

A circle was made, consisting of all the chiefs, wheR 
we were formally introduced by the interpreter, shook 
hand^] with them all, and were presented with the pipe 
of hospitality. I remarked the wonderful self-posses- 
sion of tliese men, who are in fact the most curious and 
inquisitive in the world ; and yet, on the return of their 
party from the settlements, laden with all the articles 

* In a camp-march, the principal chief generally remains on the en- 
campmeot till all the rest have moved off; partly to see that nothing is 
left or lust, partly to take care that none of his party stay or loiter, and 
chiefly to see that the rear-cruard do their duty, as it is from that quartet 
that their enemies generally attack them. At this time the Pawnees 
were upon hostile terms with the Shiennes and Ricaras, and bands 
of both these tribes were hunting at no great distance. 

•f It is needless to mention that they learn this from whites, and prac- 
tise it only towards whites. 

Vol. I.— R 


which ihey prize most highly, not the slightest expres- 
sion of surprise, pleasure, or inlerest is apparent ; brother 
niet brother, and father met son, with tlie well known 
short and sinjple universal Indian greeting, which no 
language can give in writing,* and no observer could 
have known that their absence had been of two days' 

In return for their friendly reception, and in consum- 
mation of ihe alliance, J gave them a weak glass of 
brandy and water all round ; thev seemed quite pleased, 
though I could not help thinking what a wry face Jack, 

on board H. M. S. , would have made, if the said 

ten-waier grog hid been served out to him in a cup hold- 
ing less than a quarter of a pint. It is so well known, 
that as soon as any Indian tribe becomes accustomed to 
whiskey, iheir speedy and total degradation in every 
physical and moral quality is a sure consequence, that 
the United Slates have very properly forbidden all their 
troops and traders to sell them spiriious liquors under a 
heavy penalty ; in spite of this law, however, a great 
quantity of whiskey finds its way to those Indians who 
have much commerce with the whites ; the temptation 
is too strong for the traders, many of whom are Canadian 
French, and men witliout either principle or education ; 
they frequently get opportunities of selling a pint of 
spirits for fifty or a hundred times its value in beaver 
and other skins; tlie craving of the savages increases in 
proportion to their acquaintance with this faial liquor, 
and 'hey will part wiih anything they have for a dram. 

I found that very few of the F^awnees had ever tasted 
whiskey, and still fewer expressed any strong desire or 
liking for it; I, therefore, felt it mv duty, both towards 
myself and the authorities of the United Stales, under 
whose protection I was making ujy tour, not to be in the 
smallest degree instrumental in giving the Pawnees a 
relish for a liquor which becomes in their hands no- 
thing less tlian a poison. Accordingly, whenever I gave 

* The nearest legitile approach to this exclamation is the common 
English word *' How," only uttered with a strong afipirate. and in a 
tone resembling as much as possible a grunt. 


a brandy and water draucrht to any of the chiefs, which 
I did very rarely, I took care to make it so exirenriely 
weak ihat the spirit couki scarcely be tasted, and they 
were sufficiently pleased with the honour of drinking the 
white man's liquor. 

It was not a little amusing to see how readily the Paw- 
nee-French interpreter entered into my views on this 
subject. I once or twice lent him my small pocket 
flask, and allowed him to serve out the weak toddy to 
the chiefs; he talked most gravely of the pernicious ef- 
fects of spirits among " les suava:j;es" carefully mixed 
for them at least nine proportions of water for one of 
brandy, and, then, with equal gravity, helped himself to a 
dram, in which he exactly reversed the aforesaid propor- 

As soon as this introductory feast was concluded, we 
accompanied the chiefs to the village, which was about 
twelve miles a-head of us; at length we came in sight 
of it, and a more interesting or picturesque scene I never 
beheld. Upon an extensive prairie gently sloping down 
to a creek, the winding course of which was marked by 
a broken line of wood here and there interspersed with 
a fine clump of trees, were about five thousand savages, 
inclusive of women and children ; some were sitting 
under their buffalo-skin lodges lazily smoking their 
pipes ; while the women were stooping over their fires 
busily employed in preparing meat and maize for these 
indolent lords of the creation. Far as the eye could 
reach, were scattered herds of horses, watched (or as we 
would say in Scotland, " tented ") by urchins, whose 
whole dress and equipment was the slight bow and arrow, 
with which they exercised their infant archery upon the 
heads of the taller flowers, or upon any luckless black- 
bird perched near them. Here and iheie might be seen 
some gay young warrior ambling along the heights, his 
painted form partially exposed to view as his bright 
scarlet blanket waved in the breeze; while his small 
fretful horse was scarcely to be recognized under the 
variety of trappings with which the vanity of his rider 
had tricked him out ; near him might be seen another 
naked savage, without a saddle, and his only bridle a 


thong round the horse's head, galloping at full speed, anj 
waving in his extended right hand a "laiyeile," with 
which he was chasing some refractory mule or runaway 
steed, that had escaped from his gang : while the banks 
of the stream were alive with the garrulous voices of 
women, some washing themselves, their clothes, or their 
infants, others carrying water to the camp, and others 
bearing on their backs a load of wood,, the portage of 
which no London coal-heaver would have envied them. 
Our approach excited some curiosity and interest. 
The families of those who had been to the fort placed 
theniselves in or near our path ; and as the husband, 
father, or brother, came near, the little kindred group 
would withdraw to a retired spot and indulge those feel- 
ings of curiosity and affection, which nature has iuiplant- 
ed as strongly in the bosom of the savage as of the 
civilized man. I regaided with much pleasure the 
sneeii ng of my old chief,* Sa-ni-tsa-rish, with his wives 
and children, which took place under a knot of fine trees, 
a little to the right of our path. I could read in the 
glistening eyes of the women, and in the glad laces of 
the children, that the old man was a kind husband and 
father; and, if the features of the parties had not been 
so totally devoid of anything like beauty, the family-pic- 
ture would have been as picturesque as it was interest- 
ing. The old chief himself is one of the finest-looking 
men of his tribe, but his wives v^'ere extremely plain, 
and very slovenly and dirty in their appearance ; while 
the poor little children, besides their equally distant 
claims to cleanliness, were suffering under the small-pox 
and hooping-cough ; nevertheless, as he stood among 
them, and gave to one a few beads, to another a ribbon, 
and exhibited to them vaiious trifles brought from the 
white man's dwelling, I would not envy the heart of any 
man who could have looked upon the little group with 
any other feelings than those of pleasure and interest. I 

* As the lodge, or tent, of the chiefs was not large enough to admit 
OS all into one, it was ayreed on the road that, during our slay at the 
village, I and my servant should remain with Sa-ni-tsa-rish ; while 

V and the other attendant should be the guests of Pc-le-re-sha„ 

one of the chiefs of the Grand Pawnees, and the eldest son of th@ 
great chief. 


soon began to play with the children, and, though my 
first advances were received vvitli the utmost shyness and 
alarm,* they summoned courage at length to examine my 
buttons, my pisiols, ^nd other articles new to them, and 
ere long our acquaintance was established upon a footing 
approaching to confidence. 

As soon as our arrival was known in the village, we 
were invited to six or seven feasts in succession; and 
here we lasted buffalo meat for the first time. No cows 
had yet been seen, and the bull-beef was as hard, tough, 
and stringy (besides being only quarter dressed) as ever 
it fell to the lot of human jaw to masticate. In vain 
misht a set of the finest civilized teeih that were ever 
fostered by the care of Messrs. Dumergue and Cart- 
wright, endeavour to separate the indissoluble fibres ; 
the vain attempt is soon given up in despair, and the un- 
broken mass is submitted to the gastric juice, which 
fortunately asserts and proves the inexhaustible resources 
of nature, by disposing, without inconveruence, of that 
which proved too strong an opponent for ivory ! Of 
course tliis must not be taken as a fair representation of 
buffalo meat in general ; because the ribs, and the back, 
especially the hump, are, if properly dressed, as sweet, 
lender, and delicious beef as the most delicate epicure 
could desire ; and both the fat and marrow are certainly 
finer than those of any domestic cattle ; but that it is a 

* Nature appears to have divided the white from the red man by a 
species of antipathy scarcely reconcilable with the benignity and sym- 
pathies which are usually found in her provisions. An Indian infaat 
cannot endure the approach or sight of a white man, neither can the in- 
fant of a white look without terror upon an Indian. In walking quietly 
through the Pawnee camp, I have often found myself the innocent 
cause of the cries and screams of at least twenty of these little alarm- 
.jsts, though I may not have passed nearer than thirty yards from some 
of them. Nor is this most strongly-marked aversion confined to the 
human race : Indian horses cannot bear the smell of a white man. I 
have repeatedly seen them, when standing quietly by their owner, prick 
up their ears and snort at my af)proach, and no coaxing would induce 
them to let me come near or touch their bridle. Nor was I more ap- 
proved of by the dogs, for whenever I or my companion walked about 
the village, we had a retinue of these curs barking and snarling at our 
heels; and if they had not fortunately been as cowardly as they were 
noisy, we might have experienced serious inconvenience from their 


fair and unexaagerated picture of buffalo bull meat, as 
dressed (or rather undressed) by ilie Pawnees^ I do ntiost 
positively asseit.* 

On arriving before Sa-ni-tsa-rish's lodge, which was 
destined to be my abode for many weeks, I naturally 
cast my eyes around to observe its construction and ar- 
rangements. I'he result may be giverv in a few words, 
but the description will be more satisfactory and more 
easily comprehended if it embraces the pitching of the 
Pawnee lent, or " lodge," as it is usually termed in the 

On reaching the camping-place, which is selected by 
the grai-d chief (or, in his absence, by the next in rank)^ 
the senior squaw chooses the spot most agreeable to her 
fancy, and orders the younger women and children, who 
lead ilie pack-horses and mules (generally from five to 
ten in number, according lo the size or wealth of the 
family), to hall ; but in making this choice of ground, 
she IS restricted within certain hmits, and those of no 
great exient, as the Pawnees observe great regularity 
botli in iheir line of march and encampment. J could 
not ascertain whether these regulations were invariable, 
or made at the pleasure of the chief; but I believe the 
latter; and that on leaving their winter, or stationary, 
villages, be issues the general orders on this subject, 
which are observed during the season or the expedition ; 
at any rate, tliey never varied during my stay among 

They move in three parallel bodies ; the left wing 
consisting of part of the Grand Pawnees and the Tapages; 
the centre of the remaining Grand Pawnees ; and the 
right of the Republicans, ft is needless to say that these 
names of tiie different Pawnee tribes are given by the 
French iradersaccording to their absurd fancies ;^ but the 
Indian appellations by which the Tapages (Republigues)^ 

^ I beg here to remind the reader once for all, that the animal called 
throughout this expedition the Bjiffalo, is, properly speakinw, the Bison 
(Bos Taurus) ; but I retain the incorrect appellative, because it is gene- 
rally and familiarly so employed in Norlh America. In strict language, 
the Buffalo is the B )s Babylus, the horns of which animal are turned 
backward behind its head : it is too well known in Italy and other 
countries to require farther description. 


(Sec, are known, could convey no idea of distinction, and 
consequently I shall adhere to tliose bv vvliich they are 
known through ihe Missouri country. For the infi)nna- 
tion of curious phdologists I will, however, add, ihni in 
the Pawnee language, tlie Grand Pawnees are called 
Tsa-we ; ihe Republican band, Tskit-ka-kish ; the Ta- 
page band, Pe-tovve-ra ; and the Loups, or Pawnee- 
Mahas (who parted from us when we crossed the Re- 
publican Fork), are called Ske-re.* 

All these bodies move m " Indian file," though of 
course in ihe mingled mass of men, women, children, 
afid pack-horses, it was not very regularly observed ; 
nevertheless, on arriving at the haltmg-place, the parly to 
wdiich 1 belonged mvariably camped at the eastern ex- 
tremity of the village, ihe great chief in the centre, and 
the Repiibliques on the western side ; and this arrange- 
ment was kept so well, that, after [ had been a few days 
with them, after 1 had been a few days with them, I 
could generally find our lodge in a new encampment 
with very little trouble, although the village consisted of 
about six hundred of them, all nearly similar in appear- 

Now, to return to' our squaws, whom we left in the act 
of preparing to pitch the lent. They first unpack and un- 
saddle the horses, which are given to a boy to drive off to 
their grass and water: they then arrange all their bales, 
saddles, &c., in a semicircular form, and pile them from 
two to three feel high. Around tlie exterior of these ' 
they drive into the ground eight or ten curved willow 
rods, from two to three feet distant from each other, but 
all firmly bound by leaiher ihongs to four large upright 
poles, that form the front of the lodaje, and along which 
run transverse willow rods, to which the extremities of 
the curved ones are fastened. When the frame, or ske- 
leton, is thus finished, they stretch the cover (made of 
buffalo hides, sewed together) light over the whole, 
leaving an aperture for entrance and egress in the cen-- 

* Once for all T beg the reader to remember that, in endeavonrina to 
convey Indian words in writina, the vowels, cccents, &c, which I 
employ are those of the French language, as they can be made more, 
nearly to resemule the Indian pronunciation than the Englisli.. 


tre of the front ; and in fine weather, the whole front 

This an accurate description of a Pawnee summer- 
lodge ; but, of course, the (Jimensions vary according to 
the number and weahh of the famihes residing therein: 
in some tents I have observed the front consisting of six 
or eight upright poles, to which were fixed more skins 
for additional shelter or shade. On the grass, in the in- 
terior, are spread mats, made by the squaws from reeds, 
and skins of buffalo or bear. 

From ihe foregoing it will be easily understood that the 
bales of cloth, maize, skins, and whatever other property 
they possess, form the back of the tent. Each occupant, 
from the chief to the lowest in rank, has his assigned 
place ; sleeps upon his own blanket, or buffalo robe ; 
has his bow and quiver suspended over his head ; his 
saddle, bridle, and laryeiies, &c., behind his back : and 
thus little confusion prevails, althouijh each individual 
has only just room to sit or lie at full length. 

Before the lent a kind of shield is raised, upon three 
poles pyramidically placed, on which is the device of 
the chief, by which his tent is to be recognized. Let 
not the Heralds' College imagine that the use of "armo- 
rial bearings " is confined to the descendants of Norman 
barons, or of European or Moorish chivalry ! The Gael 
of the highlands of Scotland is as proud of his clan-sprig 
of heather, holly, or juniper; and the Pawnee of his 
beaver-skin, bunch of feathers, or quiver, shield-device, as 
the Douglas of his bleeding heart, or the Percy and Tal- 
bot of their threatening monarch of the woods. How 
often are we brought thus to bow before the throne of 
Nature ! and the proudest and most polished of her chil- 
dren are made to acknowledge and feel their affinity to 
the most savage and unenlightened, by the wants, the 
desires, the failings, and vanities, which are common to 
them all. 

In the interior of the tent, and generally about the 
centre of its concave, is suspended the " medicine," 
which is most carefully and religiously preserved. If this 
Word *' medicine " (as it is used by the French and In- 
dian traders, with all the western and southern Indians,) is^ 


only half as va^ne, unsatisfactory, and mysterious to any 
luckless wi^ht, whose evil genius has imposed upon him 
the task of reading these pages, as it is to me, (and I 
might add to the Indians themselves,) let him not liope 
to find any farther elucidaiion of the riddle, nor attempt 
to fathom this verbal and ideal chaos. Under il-e head 
of "medicine," the Indians comprise not only its own 
healing department, but everything connected with reli- 
gion or superstition ; all omens, all relics, and everything 
extraordinary or supernatural. Thus, in one Indian lan- 
guage, the Deity is called ihe " Big-Medicine-Man ;" the 
horse (which animal was once aa object of iheir terror 
and astonishment, vide " Conquest of Florida," &c.), the 
"medicine-quadruped;" and in another, a gun is called a 
" medicine-weapon." Amoncr the Pawnees, the priests 
and doctors, and all the medicine department, have their 
respective offices and tents. Part of the buffalo meat is 
always set apart for the medicine (theoretically, to be 
consecrated to the Great Spirit ; practically, to be eaten 
up by these charlatans, like Baal's priests of old.) Then 
there are medicine-flags, medicine-pipes, medicine-robes, 
medicine-ceremonies ; and, lastly, the medicine-bag, 
wherein are contained arrows-heads, with w^hich their fa- 
thers have killed a foe, scalps, and any other similarly- 
precious ancestral relics.* 

In this tent I now established myself, spread my bear- 
skin, hung up my rifle ; and, with my saddlebaus for a 
pillow, prepared for the " coming on of grateful eve- 
ning mild." It is not easy, in a situation so curious 
and strange, to court " tired nature's sweet restorer." 
Moreover, I found that among the Pawnees, Silence was 
not among the Goddesses of the night, — imprimis, the 
two children in the tent were extremely ill with the 
hooping-cough ; besides which, they were very ill-tem- 
pered, and both completely spoiled ; so that sometimes 
they were uttering the groans and cries of real suffering, 
at others, would scream with the utmost power of their 
lungs, till their mother rose, and gave them anything 

* For farther information regarding the " medicine," the reader is 
referred to the Appendix. 

202 DOGS. 

they might fancy. In the second place, the loquacity of 
the ladies knew no bounds; and ihey seemed determined 
to indemnify themselves for the temporary silence which 
the labours of the day imposed upon them. My ear was 
just becoming accustomed to ihese shrill and varied vi- 
brations of the human tongue, and 1 was just about to fall 
asleep, when I was aroused by a distant howl, as I thought, 
of a wolf. It came on nearer and nearer, and louder and 
louder, till at length ihe wild, tumultuous, and many-min- 
gled cry swelled into such a volume of sound asit is impos- 
sible to describe, and if I could describe it, I could scarcely 
expect it to obtain credence. But first, let any doubter 
recall to mind some night when he may have been sleep- 
less and feverish, — perhaps a chained watch-dog began 
to " bay the moon," and perhaps some canine neiglibours 
caught up and prolonged the strain, — and he may re- 
member the musical effect produced by this serenade ! 
Now let me inform him, that in our village there were 
more than six hundred tents, and that each tent owned, 
upon an average, seven dogs, so that there were upwards 
of four thousand dogs in the encampment, all of them 
mongrels and curs, very slightly differing from the wolf 
in appearance, and scarcely at all in voice. In this 
nightly howl they all join (at least, of all those round our 
tent, I could not see one exception : ) and, having now 
faithfully described the cause, it is needless to sugoest, 
even to the most sluggish imagination, the grand elfect 
of a dog-chorus, at midnight, in the Pawnee village !. 



Lavatory in the Prairie. — Picturesque Scene. — A '< Brave." — Quarrel 
with him. — Desolate Prairie. — Prairie Doys— Owls and Rattlesnakes. 
— First View of Buflalo. — Chase of Buffalo. — Indian Butchery. — 
Horses stolen by the Ricaras. — Indian Method of Horse-stealing. — 
Discussion as to the expediency of making Reprisals.— 'Present of a 
ButTaloRobe. — Indian Character. — A Feast. — Indian Curiosity. 

Not being yet thoroughly drilled to a prairie life, I 
had not learned to consider cleanliness as a useless and 
superogatory lii.xury ; and, accordingly, after sleeping in 
my clothes, in the midst of a scene too dirty to depict, 
where we were as closely packed as the horses in a 
stage-coach stable, I was weak enough to imagine that 
it was desirable to wash my hand*? and face, and change 
my linen. ISuch notions being quite exploded among 
experienced travellers, I am almost ashamed to own 
them ; but candour demands the sacrifice, and I trust my 
brother prairie-men will remember that prejtidice once 
acknowledged, is more than half overcome. According- 
ly, I armed myself with a towel, some soap, a tooth- 
brush, and a clean shirt, and sallied forth in search of 
the creek, the banks of which were to be my dressing- 
room on the occasion. 

I found It to be a muddy streamlet, from four to eight 
inches deep, having neither brushwood nor timber to 
mark its course. It was completely alive with animal 
industry, which seemed all exercised in endeavouring to 
make it more and more turbid and muddy. Women 
washing their children and their blankets ; boys and girls 
splashing ; dogs swimming, and horses tramping in 
every direction. 

As this did not seem a favourable spot for the bath 
and toilet of one who can boast of having, in his 
day, made a respectable appearance in Bond-street, I 
walked above a mile up the litile stream, in hopes of 
finding a place less pre-occupied by my biped and quad- 


ruped competitors in ablution. Finding this attempt 
fruitless, and seeing that the " ladies " were not at all 
afraid o( me, I determined notto evince le^s courage ; and 
putting my watch, my knife, my maiivaise Jarnte, and 
other trifles in my pocket, proceeded quietly to undress; 
and liaving bathed foi a few minutes, proceeded with my 
toilet. I ought to mention that I effected this bath by 
lying down and rolling where the water w-as about nine 
inches deep. I was about half dressed before I experi- 
enced any positive interruption, when two or three Indians 
came up, and began to examine every article of my toilet 
with the greatest curiosity. They could not make out 
the use of the tooth-biush ; and when I explained to them 
that it was to " sharpen the teeth,''^ they expressed their 
wonder by the well-known " Ugh !" Tljey were equaily 
at a loss to make out the use of the soap* and other 
things, which they took out of my pocket. At length I 
got so tired of their handling my clothes, that 1 forbade 
them to do so any more, and ihey desisted. 

On my return to the camp 1 found all the lodges struck, 
the horses packed, and everything leady for marching. 
My worthy host iiad desired his women to pack the 
greater part of my baggage; I had obtained the loan of 
a horse, and thus I was enabled to give a day's rest to 
my jaded steeds. I watched tliis great moving body of 
savages as they left the rising ground on wliich we iiad 
been encamped, and deployed on the plain into the three 
irregular straggling columns which foimed their line of 
match. The scene v^'as picturesque in the extreme, and 
was every minute diversified by amusing or interesting 
incidents. In the spaces between the columns rode the 
chiefs and the younger warriors, decked out in all their 

* This word reminds me of the mischievous trick played by our 
your>e American lad, who was one day washinjr with some strong coarse 
soaj). v\hen an Indian came up, complaining of very sore eyes, and asked 
him if the soap was good for them. He said it was very good, and 
showed him by signs that he should rub it well in below the lids, which 
the Indian accordingly did; of course the pain and smartmg were ex- 
treme, and he jumped about apparently not at all pleased with the re- 
meay. liowever, it made his eyes water very much for ten minules, 
afterward relieved the inflammation; and he returned to his frien4» 
praise the great skill of the Salicks-t^-k^ (white man.) 

A "BRAVE. 205 

gayest habiliments, with white, blue, or scarlet blankets, 
and making iheir fidgety liitle horses prance and curvet 
to show the rider's horsemanship. 

Near ihem was a dignified-looking " Brave," ambling 
slowly along; his only ornament the much-envied collar 
made from the claws of the formidable grisly bear. Here 
and there were scattered groups of boys, shooting ai birds, 
or any trifling object within their reacfi ; and sometimes 
a refractory mule or untamed coll would gallop out from 
the line, plunge and kick till he had eased himself of his 
burihen, nor return to a sense of his duty till two or three 
mourned Indians had given him proof with their lar° 
yelles, of the superior power and address of man. 

I had a little quarrel wiih the " Brave " abovemen- 
tioned, which is worth recording, as illustrative of In- 
dian character. I mentioned, a few pages back, that on 
the journey I had sold a tired horse for the loan of a fresh 
one till we reached the Pawnee village. This "Brave" 
was the man wiih whom I had made the bargain, and I 
lold the interpreter to make him distinctly understand 
ihai he was to have mv broken-down nag, and might do 
as he pleased, either in leaving him to rest and recover, 
or endeavouring to make him travel ; but that I had no- 
thing more to do with it than to put a certain portion 
of my baggage on his fresh horse till we reached the 

This bargain having been made, he chose to force on 
the tired horse, and a day or two afterward, the interpre- 
ter came and told me that it had stopped altogether, and 
that the "Brave" would not let me have his any more, 
as he wanted it himself. This piece of impudent 
roguery was too glaring to be allowed, and I determined to 
resist it, having heard and learned that if Indians per- 
ceive any weakness or simplicity in a white man, they 
will lake every opportunity of cheating and insulting him. 
Accordingly, I told the interpreter thai " he had been 
himself the medium through which the bargain had been 
struck, and that if the jaded horse stopped, or even died 
on the road, T was entitled to, and v^'ould keep the fresh 
one till we reached the village." He reconsulted the 
" Brave," who was sitting only a few yards off, and re- 

Vol. I.— S 


turned to tell me that the Indian did not understand the 
terms of the bargain ; " he wanted ihe horse, and was 
deterniined to have him." 

This was not a pleasant predicament ^o be in among 
these wild felluws ; but I knew ihey would not dare to 
kill me openly, under the circumstances of my having 
been placed under the protection of their chiefs, and I 
determined accordingly to carry my point. 'I'he horse 
was among the rest, not more than twenty yards from 
where we sat. I got up quietly, and said to the interpre- 
ter, " You knows and he knows, that he is in the wrong. 
I shall now go and bridle tiiat horse ; if he chooses to come 
and try to lake him from me, let him do so at his own 
risk." I accordingly took a laryette, put it over the 
horse's neck, and desired my servant to saddle and pack 
him ; during which operation I experienced neither hin- 
drance nor mterruption, and we pioceeded peaceably on 
our journey. The " Brave" never attempted to recover 
his horse ; and, in justice to him, I ought to add, that he 
never appeared to bear me any grudge on account of this 
little breeze ; on the contrary, I believe we were after- 
ward better friends than if I had allowed him to cheat 
me ; and I am sure I saved myself the trouble of rebut- 
ting many similar attempts at imposition. He is consi- 
dered one of the most dii^iinguished Braves of the 
nation, having killed two or three men and two grisly 

I joined the chiefs in the central interval, and amused 
myself by observing the scene aroimd, and by endeavour- 
ing to increase my scanty stock of Pawnee language. 
'J he prairie tlirongh which we now travelled was barren 
and desolate ; however, we were cheered by finding fresh 
tracks of buffalo, and tlie ponds or mud-holes in which 
they had wallowed, partly to lefresh themselves from the 
lieat, and partly to escape from the vexatious attacks of 
the gadflv. 

In this waste there was not either bird or beast to be 
seen, except prairie dogs. I do not know how these little 
animals obtained this absurd appellation, as they do not 
bear the smallest resemblance- to the canine species, 
either in formation or habits. Th -^ze they vary ex- 


tremely, but in fteneral they are not larger than a squir- 
rel, and not unlike one in appearance, except that they 
want his busliv tail ; the head is also somewhat rounder. 
They burrow under the light soil, and throw it up round 
the entrance to their dwelHng like the English rabbit : 
on this lilile mound they generally sil, chirping and chat- 
tering to one another like two neighbour-gossips in a vil- 
lage. Their number is incredible, and their cities (for ) hey 
deserve no less a name) full of activity and bustle. I do 
not know what iheir occupations are; but I have seen them 
constantly running from one hole to another, although 
they do not ever pay any distant visits. They seem, on 
the approach of danger, always to retire to their own 
home : but their great delight apparently consists in 
braving it with the usual insolence of cowardice, 
when secure from punishment; for, as you approach, 
they wag their little tails, elevate their heads, and chat- 
ter at vou like a monkey, louder and louder ihe'nearer 
you come ; but no sooner is the hand raised to any mis- 
sile, whether gun, arrow, stick, or stone, than they pop 
into the hole with a rapidii;y oniy equalled by that sud- 
den disappearance of Punch, with which I have been, 
when a child, so much delighted in the streets and 
squares of London. 

1 attempted to shoot some, having been told that they 
were good to eat, but could only get two, although I de- 
stroyed probably five times that number ; for they always 
contrived lo creep or fall into their subterranean fortress, 
and make it, like true heroes, their grave. The two 
which 1 did recover were too small to cook, and I made 
a resolution never to molest the little wretches again with 
my gun. 

The whole plain was also covered with owls ; each 
hole seemed to be the residence of an owl and a prairie 
dog ; and this apparently discrepant couple lived toge- 
ther united in the bonds {not of matrimony) but of friend- 
ship. I have been often told that rattlesnakes are also 
admitted into the same dwelling, but ho the truth or un- 
truth of this I cannot speak from personal observation.* 

* The little animal here described is called by Ord and other western 


On the 22d mylong-cherished curiosity was destinedlo 
be gratified ; loud and deafening cries of " Taralia ! tara- 
ha !" (buffalo) ran from one end of the line to the other, 
and all became bustle and confusion. Some young men 
went in iheir gayest attire, others vaulted naked on their 
unsaddled horses; in all, about a thousand sallied forth 
in search of the enemy. Many false reports had been 
spread as to their distance and locality, so that we had 
to gallop over twelve or fifteen miles of sleep and undu- 
lating ground before we came up with their rear-guard, 
consisting of thirty or forty bulls, bounding after their 
uncouth fashion along the side of a hill. The horses 
were now put to their speed, and I soon found that the 
pony which had been lent me, was neither strong nor 
swift enough to bear me in such a chase ; and having 
seen a few killed about two iuindred yards ahead of me, 
I gave up the pursuit in despair, and determined to see 
how they disposed of the slain, as I had no chance of 
overtakincr the livinor. 

I jumped off my panting pony, and went to the nearest 
group, where the ceremony of disseciion was about to 
take place. Two or three Indians were round the fallen 
monster,- whose life was scarcely exlinct, whetting 
their knives on their moccasins ; and just as I arrived, 
they began to take off the skin. It is needless to 
detail the succeeding operations at large ; but I am 
confident that, from the time the first incision was made 
till the whole meat was cut up, packed, and strung 
upon a horse, fifteen minutes had not elapsed ; and ex- 
cept ihe head, there was not enough left upon the ground 
to feed a dog. They were not provided with saw, axe, 
or cleaver, nor with any other weapon but a common 
pointed dinner-knife, and yet they had carried off the 
brains,! the heart, the marrow, and liver ; the greater 

naturalists, the Louisiana Marmot, or Arctomys ; the owl mentioned is 
the Coquimbo owl, the same as the species found in South America, 
with similar habits of burrowing {Strix cumcularm), and feeds upon 
grasshoppers and insects. The rattlesnake, which is said sometimes to 
join company with this singular pair, is the Crofalus tergeminus. — See 
" Long's Expedition," vol. i. p. 499 ; vol. ii. p. 37. 
. t In case any knight of the cleaver should doubt my assertion, in re- 
gard to extracting the brains of a bull without any heavy metal or wood- 
en instrument, I think it right to record how they take them, and whu 


portion of ihe two latter they ate raw upon the spot. I 
was I hen surprised and horrified — I soon grew wiser. 

When the band of hunters came in, at night-fall, it ap- 
peared that they had overtaken a large herd, as they 
broughl in about eighty buffalo. The same evening, a 
runner from the out-picqueis* came round the tents to 
give the piihy caution, " Men have been seen ;" this is 
a warning tfiat a fresh trail has been found, or a glimpse 
caught of some one, who disappeared so qiuckly that 
they could not determine his tribe. A report had pre- 
vailed for one or two days that the Kicaras were in the 
neighbourhood. Accordingly, we loaded our guns, lied 
all the horses, and took the usual precautions. The Ki- 
caras (or, according to the usual French mutilation of 
names, the Rees les Ris) are a wild and warlike tribe, 
famed for their skill in horse-stealing. They roam 
chiefly between the prairies over which we were travel- 
ling, and the Rocky Mountains. They are a branch of 
the once great Pawnee nation, although now h^ostile to 
them ; but iheir languages are the same ; nor am I aware 
of any other irib.e who speak a similar tongue. How- 
ever, if ihey contemplated thieving undiscovered, one 
great difficulty was removed out of their way, namely, 
silence. I never heard such a continued confusion of 
sounds. The council of Pandagmonium, or the tower of 
Babel, could scarcely equal it. Women chattering, 
children crying, men singing, or rather yelling, their war- 
songs, dogs howling, horses neighing, and asses braying !• 
From these instruments let the imagination compose, 
the orchestra to which I was that night indebted for 

Our crafty neighbours did not neglect the opportunity 

they take them. First, they break and cut oft' the fore-leg at the knee 
joints, and using the shank as a handle and the hoof as a hammer, by 
repeated blows they break through the frontal bone. The purpose of 
taking) the brains is to render the skin soft and pliant, when it is in the 
course of being prepared as a robe. 

* I observed that on the march, and during their night encampment, 
the Pawnees always had oul-posls on every side of the viJIage. Besides 
this |)recaution, a great many of the young men lie in their blankets, at 
a little distance from it, chanting their war and huntino- songs ; and 
they prefer sleeping in^ that manner to the confinement of their tents. 


thus offered. On rising in the nnorning, we heard that 
a small Ricara party had carried off iwenty-six of our 
horses during the night, including two of nriine, one of 
which broke away from ihem and returned ; but the 
other, a venerable gray, remained in the hands of ihe 

The manner in which they steal horses is as follows : 
— Two or three men approach the encampment, cau- 
tiously, soon after night-fall, and take advantage of any 
creek, dell, or brushwood, that may serve to conceal 
them from the observation of the out-piquets ; if they 
succeed in reaching the extremity of the village undis- 
covered, they stand up and walk deliberately through it, 
wrapped in their buffalo robe. Of course they can 
no longer be distinguished from the Pawnees by the 
faint light of the half extingiiished fires ; and as they 
pass the groups of horses collected before their respec- 
tive owners' lodges, they cut, with a sharp knife, the 
larvettes which fasten those that they purpose to carry 
off. As soon as they have loosened the required number, 
each man jumps upon one, and they drive off the rest 
at full speed, shaking their blankets, and urging the 
alarmed animals to their utmost exertions. Of course 
they obtain a considerable start of any pursuit ; and if 
the night is dark, run but little risk of being overtaken. 

The manner of securing horses on the prairie against 
these depredators is two-fold : either to tie them by a 
laryette, passed round the neck, to a peg or stake driven 
firmly into the ground; or to ^'hobble" them, which is 
effected by tying the foie legs close together by leather 

*Soon after our departure from the fort, our American lad, who was a 
merry wag, named the diflerent pack-horses and mules after the public 
men of the day, according to his opinion of their respective merits and 
quaPities. It was-inipossible to avoid a smile when I overheard some of 
his objurgations, as he was driving them up in the rear: — " Come up, 
General !" "Wo, ho. Van Buren — your pack is all on one side." " Go 
it, Henry Clay — old Kentuck forever !" &c. 1 believe it was '' General 
Jackson" that remained a Ricara prisoner. How they ever succeeded 
in making him move I cannot imagine, as all our instruments of per- 
suasion, from a spur to a cowhide, could only extract a very small jog- 
trot, and that for a short time. Nevertheless, he must have been forced 
off at some speed, as a few Pawnees pursued for many miles, in the 
morning, without success. 


thongs passed round them, below the knee-joint. This 
latter is the safer plan, because a thief can sometimes 
cut the laryette, as he walks, wiihoui risk of observation ; 
but if he sloops down to untie or cut a strong leather 
thong between the shins of a horse, he not only runs 
more risk of alarming the animal, but incurs suspicion 
from any one who may happen to be lying awake in the 
neighbourhood. In cases where there is a probability 
of such an attempt, it is better both to tie and hobble 
them ; a lesson which I learned by experience. 

On the following day tlie chiefs assembled, and sat 
in council many hours, probably discussing the expe- 
diency of reprisals. Indeed, the subject affords a wide 
field for debate ; as the United Stales, in the stipulation 
for paying ihe annuities for ceded lands, exact from the 
Pawnees tliat they shall not send out war parlies to steal 
horses, as had been tbeir constant practice ; in the mean- 
time the more distant tribes come in to hunt in the buf- 
falo prairies and steal the Pawnee horses, while the latter 
are forbidden to make reprisals. These stipulations 
would be very hard, if adhered to ; but I have good rea- 
son to believe that, during my residence with the Paw- 
nees, they sent out several horse-stealing parlies, one of 
which was supposed to have met with considerable suc- 
cess amonor the Kanzas, a tribe sealed on the river of the 

• • • 1 

same name. The Indian notions ot reprisals are very 

cosmopolitan ; if thirty horses are stolen from them, and 
they cannot discover ihe thieves, ihey consider them- 
selves perfectly justified in stealing thirty from the first 
parly or tribe that may offer them the ofporlunity. I 
cannot give reference to ihe Pawnee Blackstone ; but 
the ''Jus et factum''' are both indisputable. 

We remained now two days wilhoul seeing any buf- 
falo, and I had nothing to amuse me but to watch, observe, 
and record the manners and customs of those around 
me. I received a visit from Tara wicadi-a* (or the Lit- 
tle Chief). He was the head chief of the Tapage tribe, 
and a man of considerable influence and abiliiy. He 

* This cliipf lias another council name, vide supra, which is indicative 
of his eloquence. 


made me a present of a painted buffalo robe,* such as 
is given by a bridegroom to his intended falher-in-law. 
It was not quite new, but the symbols are curious and 
clearly distinguishable, representing the claws of a bear, 
and two drawings of a bird and a beast with half a dozen 
tails, the genus or species of which w^ould be problema- 
tical eiifier to Linnaeus or Buffon. I had learned enough 
of tlie Pawnees to know, ihat they never make a pre- 
sent without expecting a more than adequate return, and. 
consequently I paid the Tapage chief with a parcel of 
beads, knives, tobacco, and vermilion. In bargaining 
ihey are complete Jews ; they esteem a man who beats 
them down in the price of an article, and despise one 
who sells them anything at a low rate. 

Every hour that I spent with the Indians, impressed 
i]pon me the conviction that I had taken the only method 
of becoming acquainted with their domestic habits and 
their undisguised character. Had I judged from what 
I had been able to observe at Fort Leavenworth, or other 
frontier places, where 1 met them, I should have knowa 
about as much of them as the generality of scribblers 
and their readers, and might, like them, have deceived 
myself and others into a belief in iheir "high sense of 
honour" — their hospitality — their openness and love of 
truth, and many other qualities which they possess, if at 
all, in a very moderate degree ; and yet it is no wonder 
if such impressions have gone abroad, because the In- 
dian, among whiles, or at a garrison, trading-post, or 
town, is as different a man from the same Indian at 
bome as a Turkish " Mollah" is from a French barber. 
An:iong whites, he is all dignity and repose ; he is acting 
a part the whole time, and acts it most admirably. He 
manifests no surprise at the most wonderful effects of 
machinery — is not startled if a twenty-four pounder is 
fired close to him,, and does not evince the slightest cu- 
riosity regarding the thousand ihings that are strange and 

* The Indians paint various devices upon their robes, according to 
the ceremony or exploit which thej'^ wish to commemorate Thus there 
are marriage-rol)es, battle-robes, hunting-robes, medicine. robes, .'vc. 
The one to which I refer above is a marriage-robe, and is still (1839) in 
my possession. 


new lo him ; whereas at home, the same Indian chatters, 
jokes, and laughs among his companions — trequently 
indulges in the most licentious conversation ; and his 
curiosity is unbounded and irresistible as that of any 
man, woman, or monkey, on earih. 

Truth and honesty (making the usual exceptions to be 
found in all countries) are unknown, or despised by them. 
A boy is taught and encouraged to steal and lie, and the 
only blame or disgrace ever incurred thereby is when 
the offence is accompanied by detection. I never met 
with liars so determined, universal, or audacious. The 
chiefs themselves have told me repeatedly the most de- 
liberate and gross untruths, to serve a trifling purpose, 
with the gravity of a chief-justice ; and 1 doubt wheiher 
Baron Munchausen himself would be more than a match 
for the great chief of the Pawnees. Let them not dis- 
pute the palm — each is greatest in his peculiar line — one 
in inventive exaggeration, the olher in plain unadorned 
falsehood. But from all these charges I most completely 
exonerate my old chief, Sa-ni-isa-rish ; Nature had 
made him a gentleman, and he remained so, in spite of 
the corrupting examples around him. 

To give some idea of their " want of curiosity," I 
will merely relate the circumstances usually attending a 
feast, to which I, or any of our party of four, was invited. 

On entering the lodge, I found a vacant place near 
the owner, who made signs that I sfiould occupy it : if 
others were invited, we waited till all arrived. A bowl, 
either of Indian corn or buffalo meat, was then placed in 
the centre ; the guests silting cross-legged, like tailors, 
around it. There was a horn spoon for eacli person ; 
and at the word. " L6," or " lj6-wa," we all fell to work. 
This word comprises their whole vocabulary of " assent," 
"satisfaction," and "compliment;" it invariably begins 
and concludes a feast, each guest saying it as he enters 
and leaves the tent. 

As the giver of the feast never eats with his guests, 
his occupation generally was to scrutinize me. He 
would first pass his hand all over my coarse blue check- 
ed shirt (or jacket) ; then he would take up mv knife — . 
open and shut it twenty times — ask as many questions 


about it, then pass it on to another : he would next take up, 
or take of? my hat, and place it on his own greasy head, 
first cocking it on one side and then on the other — all the 
time admiring himself in a pocket-mirror. While he was 
thus employed, another would ponnce upon my red silk 
pocket-handkerchief, and wind it hke a tnrban round the 
unwashed, uncombed, and thickly-peopled head of some 
half-pleased, half-frightened child ; and a third, in the 
meantime, would dive to the bottom of every one of 
my pockets, and submit everything therein contained — 
coins, copper-caps, pencil, &c., lo the same diligent in- 
spection. After being among them some little time, I 
determined to put a slop to this nuisance, and whenever 
they touched my hat, knife, or anything else belonging 
to me, I quielly removed their hand, and told them 
gravely they must not do so. They soon found out I 
was in earnest, and they ceased from annoying me. I 
am not sure whether they thought me a "sulky fellow" 
or a "great chief" in consequence of this conduct, but 
I raihef believe the latter, as they treated me with more 
respect ; whereas my white companions pursued a less 
deiermined (perhaps, a more good-natured) course ; and I 

saw my friend V 's and my servant's hat, and other 

articles, making the tour of heads and hands as long as 
we remained among them. As to their begging, I was 
obliged very early to put a stop to that ; for there was 
not a single thing in my possession that they did not ask 
for, even till I was tired of repeating " Ka-ki," No, 



Indian Women. — Children. — Nursery Discipline. — Girls. — Courtship. 
— Marriage. — A Missionary. — Occupation and Labours of married 
Women. — Degradation of the half-civilized Tribes — Education and 
Life of Indian Men. — An Indian Dandy. — His elaborate Toilet. — 
His Effeminacy. — Game at Javelin. — Indian Courage. 

It may seem unpardonable that I ha-ve so long defer- 
red any mention of the appearance, manners, dress, and 
condition of the " ladies " in this community. The de- 
lay has been occasioned by the best of motives, namely, 
a hope that longer experience might enable me to find 
some exceptions to such a general description as truth 
would oblige me to give. I waited long, and found 
none ; and am now under the unpleasant necessity of de- 
claring that, among the Pawnee females, I never saw 
one instance of beauty, either in face or figure — of neat- 
ness in dress — cleanliness in appearance, or of any one 
of those graceful and attractive attributes which generally 
rharacterize the softer sex.* Their life is one of perpe- 
tual degradation and slavery ; and, in spite of their slo- 
venly appearance, I could not withhold my admiration 
at the good- humour with which they perform labours une- 
qualled by those of any free servant or slave. In their in- 
fancy and early childhood they are completely spoiled. 

Some authors have pretended that Indian children 
never cry : this is as true as many other parts of their 
absurd histories ; I never was amonn- children so given 
to cry and scream. I have seen them repeatedly do so 
(when they wanted any trifle which was refused them), 
with such incessant -violence, that ihey ended by cough- 
ing most horribly and spitting blood ; then the alarmed 
mother would leave her work, and, instead of a good 

* I did afterwards see two or three pretty girls, but so few in number 
that I did not think myself justified in altering the text. 


whipping, give ihem whatever ihey asked for. Among 
other instances of foolish nnaternal indulgence, and its 
corresponding effects on a child, the following is not 
among the least ludicrous : — 

In onr tent was a little girl, nearly two years old, so 
dreadfully affected wiih the hooping-cough, that it fre- 
quently caused me to lie awake half the night, and I 
hourly expected it to break a blood-vessel and die. This 
poor little wretch's temper was as bad, and as badly 
nursed, as her heahh ; she governed the whole tent ; 
and I cannot conceive how she survived a week, consi- 
dering that her mother and aunts used all the means in 
their power to kill her, short of a "lethal weapon." I 
have seen her in the couise of one morning (she being 
only two years old !) eat a good bowl of half-boiled maize 
— then enough green grapes and plums to give the cho- 
lera to a bargeman — then a large hunch of buffalo meat, 
nearly raw ; in the midst of which last she stopped, and 
began to cry and scream, for what 1 knew not, but her 
mother knew better; and the poor woman was obliged 
to open her blanket and suckle the young screamer, wiio 
still held the half-eaten slice of buffalo meat in her hand !* 
Even the hints that kindly nature gave were lost upon 
thsm ; for, after she had rejected the unripe fruit, with 
evident proofs of her aversion, too disagreeable for me to 
forget, within ten minutes I saw the child again taking 
another, and at least as large a dose, of the same com- 
position. So much for infant diet! 

As they grow older their tyranny decreases, and by 
the time they are five or six years old, they are made to 
carry wood and water, and enter upon the duties of their 
life ; before they are grown up, the more industrious 
and ingenious among them, add to their usual domestic 
accomplishments, the making of various little ornaments, 
and the painting of buffalo-skins. 

Suppose the young lady arrived at the age when the 

* The Pawnee ■women frequently keep their children unweaned till 
near three years of age, and thus, of course, have sometimes two or 
three sucking at once. The long, pendant breast of an Indian squaw, 
after a certain age, is one of the most offensive and disagreeable objects 
upon which my eye ever rested. 


short usurpation of Cupid is to be succeeded by the ab- 
solute monarchy of Hvmen, the ceremony to be observed 
is (as far as 1 can learn) nearly as follows : — When the 
lover wishes to break the ice, he comes to her father's 
tent uninvited, and sits on the corner of the mat for a 
considerable time, then rises, and goes away without 
speaking. This is the preliminary step in courtship, an- 
swering perhaps to the first gentle pressure of the hand 
— the first bhishing hesitation in address — the first mu- 
tual glance of understanding. — But I am treading on 
dangerous ground, and must proceed no farther with 
these drawing-room "preliminaries." 

Afier a few days" the young man returns, wearing his 
buftalo-robe with the hair outward, and again sits down 
silent in the corner of the tent; this is a regular propo- 
sal ; if the father is determined to reject him at once, no 
skin IS placed for him to sit on, and no meat is offered to 
him : but if he approves of the match, these usual rites 
of hospitality are observed, and he tells the young 
man that he will give a feast to obtain the consent 
of all his daughter's connections, and advises him also to 
do the same by his relations ; should both of these feasts 
terminate favourably, the young man presents himself 
once more before his bride at the door of her tent, then 
turns round and walks slowly off toward his own ; she 
rises a!id follows him — the marriage is then complete ; 
(if she remain sitting, it is a sign that her family decline 
the match.) As soon as he reaches home he sends her 
father the marriage present, or rather, the purch <se 
money for his wife, (indeed it is neither more nor less,) 
the amount of which is already pretty well ascertained 
by the faiher-in-law, and which consists of horses, 
blankets, or robes, according to the wealth or respecta- 
bility of the contracting parties. 

The most extraordinary part of this matrimonial affair 
is, that, having married the elder sister, he has a right to 
marry all the younger ones as they successively attain 
the age of puberty. Nor is this at all unusual ; on the 
conlrary, it is a common practice, as ihe husband there- 
by secures so many additional slaves, and can obtain so 
much more corn, dried meat, dressed skins, &c., all of 

Vol. L— T 


which are ihe result of female labour. When the second 
sister becomes marriageable, or rather, when il suits his 
fancy or convenience to take her, he sejids her father a 
horse or olhc-r proportionate prescfit, and she comes over 
to his lodge ; and so on witli the other sisters.* I have 
seen several chiefs who have, in ihis manner, married a 
whole family ; the eldest wife being the greatest drudge, 
and the youngest being generally the favourite sultana, 
and consequently doing the least work. 

I cannot affirm the universal accuracy of the above 
account, because I could not understand the Indians suf- 
ficienily to extiact much information from them. The 
French interpreter was extremely illiterate, ignorant, and 
uncommunicative ; and the only other source from which 
I could gather anything, was from a yourig man sent by 
the missionaries from New .England to iearn the Pawnee 
language, with a view to his teaching their children here- 
after the elements of religion, morals, grammar, 6ic. 
The history of the world affords ample evidence to prove 
that the first spreaders of the Gospel among savage 
tribes, must be active enterprising men, and entfiusiasts ; 
anvthing more directly opposite to these qualities than 
the character of the young missionary resident among 
the Pawnees I defy the whole world lo produce, — he 
was the most quiet, indolent, phlegmatic being I ever 
beheld, and in taciturnity worthy lo be a priest of Monius 
himself; however, I did now and then extract a few sen- 
tences from him, and such facts as he told me I could 
depend upon, as there did not appear to be a grain of 
fancy or invention in his composition : he had been with 
the Pawnees about eight monlhs, and spoke a few words 
of the language, but he had not the "bump" — I beg 
pardon, the " organ " of language. His residence among 
them may be productive of some advantage lo the esli- 

* This custom is common among other savage tribes besides the 
Pawnees. See Major Long's "Account of the Oniahas," vol. i. p. 230. 
Also the Padre Palon's " Description of Upper California," quoted by 
Mr. Forbes ; " it is very common for the wife to urge her husband to 
marry her sisters, and even their mother ! and the common custom is 
when a man marries, that he takes the whole of the sisters for wives." — 
forhes' California, p. 190, see Appendix. 


mate formed by the savages of the character of the 
whiles, as his hfe is decent and moral ; vvfiereas their in- 
tercourse has been mostly confined to the French traders, 
who are in general grossly licentious and profligate, hav- 
ing wives in every tribe they deal with, and tempting 
the poor savage to barler the honour (if among them it 
can be so called) of their daughters and sisters for a dram 
of whiskey. 

It is difficult to understand how so many Indians can 
have four, five, or six wives, and that so very few are un- 
married at thirty years of age, unless we suppose that 
three or four females among them are born to one male : 
it mitrht have been accounted for formerly by the num- 
ber of men that died in their wars, hunting parties, and 
accidents; but these means of depopulation are so much 
more rare than they used to be, that they can scarcely 
be supposed to explain the great disproportion between 
the sexes. 

Having already brought the lady through all the dan- 
gers of celibacy, her matrimonial happiness will he most 
easily appreciated by a faiihful narralion of her daily oc- 
cupation when the village is moving. She rises an hour 
before daylight, packs up the dried meat, the corn, and 
other bales, strikes the tent, loads and saddles all the 
horses and mules, and at dawn the march commences ; 
they generally go from twelve to fifteen miles before 
their mid-day halt ; the husband rides, some animals are 
loaded, many run loose; she travels on foot, carrying on 
her back either a child or a package of considerable size, in 
one hand a bundle or a can of water, wiih the other lead- 
ing one or two pack-horses. On arriving at the camp- 
ing-place, she unpacks the animals, and proceeds to 
pilch the tent, or lodge, as before described. But in 
order lo appreciate the exlreme labour of this apparenily 
simple operation, it must be borne in mind that she has 
to force eight or ten poles, sharpened at the point, into 
ground baked nearly as hard as brick by a vertical sun ; 
they require to be driven at least six inches deep by the 
mere strength of her arms, as she is not assisted by the 
use of any iron-pointed instrument or any mallet. As 
soon as the lent is pitched and arranged, she goes in 


search of wood and water ; the latter is generally with- 
in half-a-mile of the campingr-place selected, but the 
former, I can positively affirm from my own observation, 
she frequently has to seek and carry on her back three 
or four miles. 

From mingled commisseration and curiosity, I have 
once or twice raised these wood-bundles thus brought in, 
and am afraid to hazard a conjecture at iheir weight, but I 
feel confident tliat any London porter would charge high 
for an extra load, if he was desired to carry one of them 
half-a-mile: she then proceeds to light tiie fire, cut up 
ihe meat, and pound the corn, for which latter purpose she 
is obhged to use a heavy club, round at the extremity, 
and a mortar, hollowed by herself from the trunk of a 
"Walnut. As soon as the meal is finished, she has to 
strike the tent, re-load the horses, and the whole forego- 
ing irork IS to be repeated, except that the afternoon 
walk is generally not more than eight miles. 

This is the ordinary rouiine of a travelling day ; but 
on the day of a hunt, and on its successor, her labour 
varies in kind, not much in degree, as, besides bringing 
"Wood and water, cooking, &c., she has to cut up all the 
meat into thin flakes or layers to be dried in the sun, to 
dress the skins and robes, the mode of doing which I 
shall have to notice presently ; to make ihe moccasins, 
leggins, and, in short, whatever clothing is wanted by 
any part of the family. To perform this incredible labour 
there were only three women in our lodge, and I never 
saw any of ihs three either grumble, or rest a moment, 
although plagued with the additional care and ceaseless 
crying of the two beforementioned brats. Lest it may 
be supposed that in the permanent or winter lodge they 
enjoy more rest, it is as well to mention that, in addition 
to their domestic duties, the whole of the agricultural 
labour, in their coarse system of raising maize, falls to 
their share. 

' Is it possible to contemplate this constant and severe 
fatigue, undergone with uncomplaining cheerfulness, 
without pity and admiration? And yet the women ap- 
pear contented and even happy ; they laugh under their 
burthens, and chatter during half the night. They 


seem even to be proof against the pains of the primal 
punishment brought, by sin, upon womankind ; for ihey 
pursue their ordinary occupations until the latest period 
of their labour, and immediately after the birth of the 
child resume them wifliout interruption. It appears that 
no obstetric aid is required on lliese occasions ; if the 
village is on a march, the sister or some other female re- 
mains, for an hour, in the rear, with her friend, and then 
they rejoin the main body, and present the '' happy father" 
with a fine boy or girl, as llie case may be I Is it not 
possible that the progress of years, if it bring with it 
civilization and some alleviation of their drudgery, may 
mar the happiness they now enjoy, by implantmg wants, 
desires, and seeds of discontent, to which they are still 
strangers ? 

It is a inelancholy but undoubted fact that the half- 
civilized tribes are more licentious, treacherous, and de- 
based, both m body and m.ind, than those who know the 
white man only by distant rumour, and view him as their 
natural and irreconcilable enemy. This, however, is to 
be attributed, not to civilization abstractedly, nor to white 
man as a creiuis, but to whiskey, and the profligate vicious 
traders, chiefly Canadian French, who first introduced 
that liquid curse among them. 

I must now turn to tiie male portion of the common- 
wealth, and record a few particulars regaiding them. 
As soon as the boys are able to run about they begin to 
practise the bow and arrow ; and in the barren prairies, 
where neither bird nor flower off'ers itself as a mark, 
their constant occupation is shooting at an arrow pre- 
viously sent by one of the little parly. This they perforin 
(to use a vulgar phrase) *' turn about:" — A. shoots an 
arrow into the ground, about ten or fifteen yards off"; B. 
shoots at it; then B. sends one for A. to aim at; and so 
forth. Until they attain the age of ten or eleven they 
remain more or less under their mother's control, and are 
made to help her in carrymg water, and in catchmg or 
leading horses; but about that discreet time of life they 
begin to feel the dignity of their sex, and to perforin such 
menial offices with repugnance ; and I have often ob- 
served with surprise and indignation, that if- J gave a 



gun-case or any kind of package to one of them to carry 
during a march, before len minutes he would transfer it 
to his already overloaded and submissive mother, and re- 
turn to his bow and arrow with his companions. They 
delight, also, while they are lads, to follow their elder 
brother or father to the buffalo hunt, during which they 
keep a respectful distance in the rear ; but as soon as 
the game is killed, they assist at the dissection, and the 
horse on which they rode is used to carry the meat to 
the camp. 

About the age of tw^enty they are allow^e-d to hunt, 
and seek other opportuniiies for distinction. This epoch 
answers to the Oxonian's first appearance in London life 
after taking his B. A. degree. 1 have seen some dan- 
dies in my life — English, Scotch, French, German, aye 
and American dandies too ; l)ut none of them can com- 
pare with the vanity or coxcombry of the Pawnee dandy. 
Jjest any of the gentry claiming this distinction, and be- 
longing to the abovementioned nations,, should doubt or 
feel aggrieved at this assertion, 1 will faithfully narrate 
what passed constantly before my eyes in our own tent; 
namely, the manner in which Sa-ni-tsa-rish's son passed 
the days on which there was no buffalo hunt. 

He beg^n his toilet, about eight in the morning, by 
greasing and smoothing his whole person with fat, which 
he rubbed afterwards perfectly dry, only leaving the skin 
sleek and glossy ; he then painted his face vermilion„ 
with a stripe of red also along the centre of the crown 
of the head ; he then proceeded to his "coiffure," wiiich 
leceived great attention, although the quantum of hair 
demanding such care was limited, inasmuch as his head 
was shaved close, except one tuft ai the top, from wl)ich 
hung two plaited "tresses." (Why must I call them 
" pigtails ?"*) He then filled his ears, which were bured 

* The fashion of wcaringr the hair varies in every tribe, and in every 
individual of the tribe, accordinsr to the fancy of the person : but the 
method here described is the most prevalent among ihe Pawnees. The 
Ricaras ])lait a lona stream of horse-hair with their crown-tuft, which 
floats wildly in the breeze as they gallop, and gives them a terrible and 
picturesque appearance. I have also been informed by many of the 
Rocky Mountain traders, that some of the Crow chiefs (a nation to the 
north-west of the Ricara) wear hair of seven and eight feet long; and a 


in two or three places, with rings and wampum, and 
hung several strings of beads round his neck ; then, 
sometimes painting stripes of vermihon and yellow up- 
on his breast and shoulders, and placing armlets above 
his elbows and rings upon his fingers, he proceeded to 
adorn the nether man with a pair of moccasins, some 
scarlet cloth leggins fastened to his waist-belt, and bound 
round below the knee with garters of beads four inches 
broad. Being so far prepared, he drew out his mirror, 
fitted into a small wooHen frame, (which he always, 
\vhether hunting or at home, canied about his person,) 
and commenced a course of self-examination, such as 
the severest disciple of Watts, iMason, or any other reli- 
gious moralist, never equalled. Nay more, if I were 
not afraid of offending the softer sex by venturing to 
bring man into comparison with them in an occupation 
which is considered so peculiarly their own, I would as- 
sert that no female creaiion of the poets, from the time 
when Eve first saw " that smooth watery image," till the 
polished toilet of the lovely Belinda, ever studied her 
own reflected self witii more perseverance or satisfaction 
than this Pawnee youth. I have repeatedly seen him 
sit, for above an hour at a time, examining his face in 
every possible position and expression ; now frowning 
like Homer's Jove before a thunder-storm, now like the 
same god, described by Milton, "smiling with superior 
love ;" now slightly varying the streaks oT paint upon his 
cheeks and forehead, and then pushing or pulling "each 
particular hair" of his eye-brows into its most becoming 
place ! Could the youth have seen anythincr in that 
mirror half so dangerous as the features which the glassy 
wave gave back to the gaze of the fond Narcissus, I 
might have feared for his life or leason ; but, fortunately 
for^ihese, they had only to contend with a low receding 
forehead, a nose somewhat aimious* a pair of small 

ffenlleman of character and education assured me that he had measured 
the hair of one of them nine feet. Like the faithful old Herodotus, I add 
«' these things I have not .sce/i. but give thern as they were told to me." 
* I believ'e I can justly claim the invention or anfflicising of this 
word. If 1 can, I consider the republic of letters under deep obligatioii 
to me. 


sharp eyes, with high cheek-bones, and a broad mouth, 
well furnished with a set of teeth, which had at least the 
merit of demolishing speedily everything, animal or 
vegMable, that came within their range. 

His toilet thus arranged to liis saiisfaction, one of the 
woman or children led his buffalo-horse before the tent; 
and he proceeded to deck his steed, by pamting his fore- 
head, neck, and shoulders with stripes of vermilion, and 
sometimes twisted a few feathers into his tail. He then 
put into his month an old-fashioned bridle, bought or 
stolen from the Spaniards, from the bit of which hung six 
or eight steel-chains, about nine inches long ; while some 
small bells, attached to the reins, contributed to render 
the movements of the steed as musical as those of the 
lovely " Sonnante," in the incomparable tales of Comte 

All things being now ready for the promenade, he 
threw a scarlet mantle over his shoulders ; thrust his 
mirror in below his belt; took in one hand a large fan, 
of wild-goose or turkey feathers, to shield his fair and 
delicate complexion from the sun ; while a whip hung 
from his wrist, having the handle studded with brass 
nails. Thus accoutred, he mounted his jingling palfrey, 
and ambled through the encampment, envied by all the 
youths less gay in attire, attracting the gaze of the un- 
fortunate drudges who represent the gentler sex, and ad- 
mired supremely by himself! 

On these blank days, the men who were not dandies 
passed the time in smoking, feasting, mending and sharp- 
ening their knives and arrows, or in the javelin game, of 
which last amusement they are very fond. It is played by 
two competitors, each armed with a dart, on the smoothest 
plot of grass which they can find. The arena is about 
fifty yards long. They start from one end at full speed ; 
one of the players has a small hoop, of six inches dia- 
meter, which, as soon as they have reached the middle 
of the course, he rolls on before them ; and each then 
endeavours to dart his weapon through the hoop. He 
who succeeds, counts so many in the game ; and if nei- 

t See Fleur-d'Epine. 


ther pierces it, the nearest javelin to the mark is allowed 
to count, but of course not so many points as if he had 
" ringed " it. 

This game is exceedingly hard exercise ; they play 
with many on a side, and sometimes for five and six 
hours, in the mid-heat of an August day, without inter- 
mission. It is made subservient to their taste for gam- 
bling; and I have seen them lose guns, blankets, and 
even one or two horses, in a morning. J have heard that 
they play at cards in their winter-quarters, but cannot 
vouch for the truth of the assertion. In fact, this is the 
only game that I ever saw among the Pawnees : but it 
is well known that other tribes play admirably at ball, 
after ditferent fashions, one of which resembles closely 
the English " hockey," or Scottish " shinny," and is 
played with a hooked stick. However, we must not be- 
lieve that Indian games are quite as various or scientific, 
as some careless authors have described them.* 

The courage of the Indians has been the subject of 
much controversy : I have had few opportunities of form- 
ing a practical opinion on the question. One thing, how- 
ever, is certain, that they invariably prefer ambush and 
artifice to open attack ; and the highest praise is given 
to the warrior wdio brings home a few scalps without 
losing a man ; but if he returns with a number of scalps, 
having lost a few of hi§ own party, he obtains mucli "less 
praise. No ,one can deny them the merit of passive 
courage or endurance. It would appear that their ner- 
vous system is much less irritable than that of the whites. 
I do not form this opinion from the numberless written 
narratives upon the subject; but I have seen and con- 
versed with several Americans who have been engaged in 
Indian wars, and who have described to me tortures that 
they have beheld, too horrible to relate, and borne ei- 
ther with unflinching silence, or with a kind of frantic 
exultation, that dared the torturers to make the arrow 
sharper and to bring a hotter firebrand. This may be, 

* I remember, in an enumeration of them by some traveller, quoted 
by the author of a " Winter in the Far West," to have found the w^ord 
tennis. — Query, had the said traveller ever seen a tennis-court, or did h> 
know the njeaning of the term. 1 


and undoubtedly is, true in regard to inflicted pain ; but 
it certainly is not true relative to ihe sufferings of disease, 
or any of the natural '' ills ihat flesh is heir lo." I have 
more than once seen a full-grown strong-looking Indian 
moan and whine under the tooihach or colic in a manner 
that, among us would shame *' a sick child."" 

Pa^-ta^-la^-cha'ro, who was, I think, the strongest and 
most formidable Indian in the camp, sent for me one day, 
and complained most grievously of pains in his body. 
He lay at full length, wrapped up in his buflalo-robe, 
and sighed and groaned most piteously. He held out 
his arm to me, and made me signs to bleed him ; an 
operation w^hich those Indians who have seen or heard 
of it among the whites, are very fond of undergoing. I 
felt his pulse at the wrist; it was regular, firm, and quiet, 
J therefore told him that he was not very bad, and re- 
fused to bleed him. Having only peiformed this office 
once, and not being much of an adept therein, I never 
would attempt it, except in cases of urgency or danger. 
However, he continued his groans, although I fell con- 
vinced that the only malady under which he laboured 
was the effect of havitig eaten three or four pounds too 
much buffalo meat or boiled maize. While I was still 
sitting in the lodge, the heralds came round to cry that 
buffalo were near, and that the hunters might mount. 
The ypnng chief sprang up, like a lion roused, snatched 
his bow and leather quiver, and in five minutes was at a 
full gallop over the prairie ! 



Ceremonies attendant on the Buffalo Chase. — Adventures with Buffalo. 
— Number of" Beasts slain. — Night Attack of the Shiennes— The Con- 
flict. — War Songs. — A Council — Religion. — Great Spirits and other 
Deities. — Religious Ceremonies. — Notions of Futurity. — Months and 
Years. — Office of Soldiers. — A " Cerne," or " Surround." — Buffalo 
Hunt. — Preparation of Buffalo Skins. — Strange Fuel. — March re- 
sumed — Otoe Chief. — Deadly Feud between two Brothers. — Great 
Medicine Feast. — Impromptu Oration. — Indian Eloquence. — Grace 
before Meat. — Rapid Feeding. — Method of Invitation to a Feast. — • 
Contrasted Temperature. — Change in the Aspect of the Country. 

On the 26ih we started at four in the morning, in the 
hope of finding water before mid-day. About eight 
o'clock the cry of" tahara" (buffalo) aonin echoed through 
the columns, and we were all ordered to halt. I rode 
forward to the head of the line, where a circle was made, 
consisting of the chiefs and prophets. Two long poles, 
belonging to the " medicine," and covered with feathers 
and shreds of cloth, were placed in the centre, and an 
hour was spent in speechifying, smoking, and medicine-,- 
mummery, to insure a good day's sport. The warriors, 
or htinters, then went forward, and, half-a-dozen miles 
in advance of the main body, we found several large 
herds of buffalo. 

Each hunter selected the herd that he would attack, 
and we rushed in upon them from every side. It was a 
glorious sight to see the naked savages urging their 
horses to their utmost speed, with loud cries and repeated 
use of the cowhide : while the affrighted and maddened 
bulls galloped, or rather plunged, along the hill-side, only 
escaping one band of tormentors to fall in with another. 
A great slaughter ensued. J happened to have left my 
rifle, on this occasion, in the rear, with my servant, and 
was armed only with a pistol. However, I singled out 
two or three bulls and cows, and pursued them six or 
seven miles ; but when I reached them, was much an- 


noyed to find thai no effort or exertion conld induce my 
steed to venture near tlienri ; so I returned unsuccessful 
and out of humour to the cannp. There J found ifiat 

V had remained in ihe thick melee wiih the chiefs, 

and had killed, or helped to kill, three wilh a pislol. He 
had borrowed a horse fully trained for the sport, and he 
could ride close up to their tails ; but the animal would 
never press forward enough to risk an encounter with 
iheir horns. 

I was determined not to let the sun set upon my blood- 
guililess head; and, as it was only about two p. m., I 
moiuited another horse, look my rifle, and again set out 
in quest of adventures. I soon found a bull in a neigh- 
bouring ravine, s-lighily wounded by an arrow in his flank; 
and, as he was near the village, a large parly of women 
and children were answering, at a respectful distance, 
his roaring and bellowing by their shouts and cries. 
They told me to go and kill him. As the horse 1 had 
then mounted would not allow me to shoot from his back, 
I dismounted and shot a bullet into the bull's shoulder ; 
after a short interval, he tottered and fell. I thought that 
he was just about to die, and imprudently walked up 
nearer to him. To my surprise, he sprung up and made 
at me ; I waited till he came within two or three yards, 
then fired my second barrel, and jiunped on one side. 
He passed over the place I had ceded to him, and, after 
staggering on a short distance, he fell again. J reloaded 
my rifle, and was obliged to fire another ball, which put 
him out of his pain ; and then I left him to the tender 
mercies of the women and children, and, mounting my 
horse, cantered over the hills, in search of more game. 

I was soon aware of a fine bull, enjoying its solitary 
range at the distance of a quarter of a mile. I gave 
chase, and after a gallop of two or three miles, I came 
alongside the enemy ; but my Indian nag would not 
allow me to shoot off his back ; the moment I presented 
my rifle, he would wheel and jump, so as to preclude 
all possibility of taking aim. 'J'he bull chased me about 
fifty yards, but finding he had no chance of overtaking 
me, slopped and slamped. I dismounted, and a pitched 
battle now ensued, in which Purday's double-barrel ulli- 


inately gained the day ; but I never met with an animal 
so tenacious of life. He did not fall till he received my 
fourth ball in the heart ; two having pierced him before, 
not more than three inches from the heart, and one hav- 
ing entered his eye, which I aimed at, in the expectation 
of thereby reacliing his brain. 

I now returned to the camp, satisfied with my day's 
sport. I might have killed three times as many with 
half the trouble, had I chosen to remain with the chiefs 
in the centre of the " cerne," and assist in the medley- 
massacre ; but I could see no sport or excitement in a 
scene resembling too closely the shambles ; besides 
^t'hich, it is impossible to have the undivided glory, as 
the greater number are pierced by three or four arrows, 
and you must either kill some other hunter's wounded 
buffalo, or let him kill what you have wounded, neither 
of which alternatives a sportsman would choose to adopt. 
I cannot say exactly the amount of the day's slaughter, 
but it was between five and six hundred. 

Soon after our return from hunting I was invited to a 
feast, where I tasted a most luxurious dish, being the 
udder of a young cow^; it was well boiled, and was ex- 
tremely sweet and delicate food. 

In the evening, the elders, or medicine-men, went 
round the encampment, uttering loud cries, (which were 
meant to express their gratitude to the Great Spirit for a 
plentiful supply of buffalo), and carrying a portion of 
the meat to the old and infirm who were not able to 
hunt, and who had no young man in their lodge to supply 
them with provision. 

About ten o'clock at night, after we had all betaken 
ourselves to our bear or buffalo-skins, and the camp was 
as still as a Pawnee camp can be, a sudden yell or shout 
was raised, v/hich reached the inmost recess of every 
lodge — " Charicks waikta !" " The enemy are upon us !" 
In a moment all was confusion and bustle. The tent of 
my old chief was pitched at the western extremity of 
the " village," and not more than two hundred yards from 
a small wooded ravine. The hostile band had contrived 
to elude the vigilance of our outposts, and to reach this 
place of concealment undiscovered; consequently our 

Vol. 1— U 


predicament would have been a dangerous one, had they 
possessed sufficient force to profit by this advantage, or 
had our warriors allowed them time to improve it. But 
it was beautiful to see the readiness and rapidity with 
which our Pawnees were prepared to meet them. Each 
man's bow and quiver were at his head; the laryette 
which secured his horse served for a bridle; and in two 
minutes from the time when the alarm was given, the 
warriors and Braves were at full speed in the direction 
of the enemy. I jumped up from my bear-skin, and 
with a brace of pistols in my belt, a stout hunting-knife 
at my side, and a double-rifle in my hand, lost not a 
moment in joining my old friend, the chief, at the door 
of his lodge. My first care was to secure my horses, 
which, scared by the firing, yelling, and galloping around 
ihem, struggled with all the power of terror and excite- 
ment to get free from their fastenings : fortunately I had 
caused them all to be doubly secured and hobbled, so 
that none of them got away. I then inquired of the 
chief hov/ I could be useful, and he pointed to the lodge, 
and the women and children, giving me to understand 
that [ must stay and protect them. Indeed, there was 
nothing else for me to do; inasmuch as had I sallied out 
in the dark with the others, I could not distinguish friend 
from foe, and should have been as likely to shoot the 
former as the latter. 

Standing thus quietly on the defensive, I had leisure 
to enjoy the wild beauty of the scene before me. The 
shrill and savage war-cry raised by a thousand voices — 
the neighing, struggling, and trampling of the excited 
horses, mingled with the howling of dogs, and the irregu- 
lar firing of their guns, with which the Pawnees directed 
and cheered their warriors to the scene of action — formed 
a wild and exciting comoination of sounds ; while the 
groups of women and children gathered round the pale 
and expiring lires, and the tall dark figure of the old 
chief, standing with his arms calmly folded beside me, 
served admirably to fill the interesting and picturesque 
fore-ground. At first, the shouts and yells approached 
— then they receded — then again they came nearer and 
nearer, and for a few minutes, I thought we might have 


a skirmish before our lodge (which v/as, as I before said, 
at the very extremity of the encampment). My rifle 
was ready with two bullets, each of an ounce weight ; 
and as our fire had been refreshed, so as to throw light 
upon an advancing party, I felt pretty sure that two of 
them would pay the penalty of a near approach. But I 
was not destined either to take or lose a scalp on this 
occasion ; the Pawnees were too strong and too active 
for their opponents ; the yells became gradually more 
faint and indistinct; and at length the occasional dis- 
charge of a gun at a distance was the only audible sign 
of conflict or pursuit. 

I was anxious to find out who these fellows were who 
had dared to attack the Pawnees in their full encamp- 
inent, and learned from the first warriors wiio returned 
that they were Shiennes, about one hundred and fifty or 
two hundred in number, who had made this bold attempt 
to seize a number of the Pawnee horses ; at least, it is 
impossible to believe that they could from any other mo- 
tive have ventured, with a handful of men, to attack a 
camp containing above a thousand warriors, as well or 
better armed than themselves. 

The Pawnees, in making the Shienne sign, pretend to 
saw the left arm with the fore-finger of the left-hand; 
thereby denoting the marks which distinguish that tribe.* 
They are a warlike, marauding nation, who frequent the 
plains watered by the sources of the Plaite and Arkan- 
sas, towards the base of the Rocky Mountains : they 
are generally at war with the Pawnees. 

As far as I could hear, they escaped without losing 
any of their party. As soon as their first attempt at 
surprise failed, they fled at full speed ; and the darkness 
of the night rendered pursuit ineffectual, if not impossi- 
ble. I presume that the Pawnees guessed their number 
by their horse-tracks in the morning; but possibly they 
were not very anxious to detach a body to follow them, 
as they did not know whether the Shiennes might not 
have a considerable force to retire upon in the neigh- 

* The reader, who is curious about the Indian language of signs, is 

referred to the Appendix. 


In a short time, all was again still in the camp ; no- 
thing stirred, save here and there the dusky fignre of 
some returning warrior who had followed the enemy 
farther than his comrades ; and no sound met the ear, 
except the low and monotonous war-song chanted by 
some of the Braves as they lay enveloped in their blank- 
ets on the side of a small hill commanding the encamp- 
ment. I was very sorry that I had no intelligent inter- 
preter from whom I could obtain a translation of these 
Indian lyrics. I did contrive, with the aid of the half- 
Frenchman, to gather a few phrases which may serve 
to illustrate the character of the whole. " I rushed upon 
my enemy like a buffalo ! — I shouted my war-cry aloud ! 
— Hi-hi-hi-hi-hi ! &c. — I took his scalp i — His women 
howl for him in their lodge ! — I am a great war-chief ! 
—I am called the Black Wolf !— Hi-hi-hi-hi !" These, 
and similar effusions of savage simplicity, form the soli- 
tary chant of a Paw^nee warrior. 

On the following morning their blood was boiling with 
resentment at the affront which they had received. A 
council was held, but they carefully concealed their de- 
termination from me ; so that I have little doubt that re- 
prisals of some kind w^ere carried nem. con. But of the 
measures which they adopted I remained in total igno- 
rance. Doubtless, they considered me somewhat in the 
light of a spy ; for when I inquired whether they had 
taken any scalps, or lost any men in the skirmish of the 
preceding night, they either pretended not to understand, 
or made the sign of "mystery" or "silence," by placing 
the hand before the lips, and then extending it with the 
palm toward me. Even from Sa-ni-tsa-rish, who was 
usually very communicative, and gave me lessons in his 
language daily, I could gain no information on this sub- 

As they remained for a day or two drying and cutting 
up their meat, I employed myself in endeavouring to gel 
some idea of their religious tenets and superstitions. 
These are at best vague and undefined : to those who 
understand their language ihey cannot explain the theory 
of their belief, and the only method of attaining any 
knowledge of the subject is, by attentive examination 


•tnd careful comparison of the leading-features of their 
practice and ceremonial observances. As far as I can 
learn, their idea of a Divinity is a single presiding Being 
or Spirit, generally benevolent, but changeable, accord- 
ing to the supplies or offerings which he receives of buf- 
falo, of vi'hich they dedicate considerable portions to him, 
(No small part of this dedicated meat is consumed by 
the medicine-men.) Besides this Supreme Spirit, they 
believe in others of an inferior caste, (like the secondary 
gods in the Greek and Egyptian, or the genii and gnomes 
in the Eastern mythology,) in whom they imagme re- 
semblances to different kinds of animals, as buffalo, deer, 
bears, &;c. Each man considers himself under the pecu- 
liar care of one of these inferior deiiies ; and in seasons 
of peril, grief, joy, or any other strong excitement, he 
will work himself up to a high pitch of enthusiasm, and 
imitate his tutelary spirit, either by creeping and growl- 
ing like a bear, or roaring and stamping like a buffalo, 
and so forth. 

They never eat or smoke without making a first-offer- 
ing to the Great Spirit. At a feast or ordinary meal, the 
first spoonful of maize or morsel of meat is placed on 
the grass for his use ; and, when they smoke, the first 
whiff is puffed upward in honour of him ; and generally 
the two succeeding, one on the right, the other on the 
left, to the buffalo, or some other spirit. In regard to 
futurity, they believe that, if they have been bold hunters 
and brave warriors, they will, after death, inhabit a 
country where buffalo will be plentiful, and where the 
chase, the feast, and the pipe, will form their only occu- 

They divide their year into twelve months, of thirty 
days, to each of which they give a name, descriptive of 
its peculiar produce, or occupation, as "the corn month" 
— " the cold month" — " the sowing month" — " the hot 
month" — " the buffalo month," &c.; but I find that, with 
some other Indian tribes, the year consists of six months ; 
and the spring hunt and the winter hunt make the two 
years.* * 

* A similar method of naming the months obtains amonjs: the tribes 
inhabiting the regions of the Upper Mississippi, as the Ojjibeways, 



The 2Bth of July, which was a beantifal day for buf- 
falo hunting, was entirely lost, (although the animals 
were close to the encampment and the wind favourable,) 
owing to the superstitious folly of the Indians, or lather, 
perhaps, to the intrigues of the chiefs. After going 
through a ceremony somewhat similar to the Heathen 
augury, the Great Spirit was declared by the medicine- 
men to be unpropitious for a hunt, and most of the day 
was consumed in electing " soldiers." This is the third 
class, or caste, among the Pawnees, having their rank 
next to the braves ; their office is to watch the buffalo 
herds and the encam.pment, and to prevent any individual 
of their own, or another nation, from hunting without 
their permission ; in the discharge of this duty they are 
authorized to give a severe flogging, with whips of buf- 
falo-hide, to any one, even a chief, who transgresses the 
rules. These soldiers, under the direction of the great 
chief and the medicine, have the management of the 
hunt ; and as there existed some jealousy between the 
Grand and the Republican Pawnees, they could not settle 
which party should take the lead on this occasion in ap- 
pointing the soldiers, and the day was lost in disputing. 

As far as my opportunities enable me to judge, the 
Republicans are more dangerous and mere given to thiev- 
ing than any other bcaid of Pawnees. A " cerne," or 
*' surround," in this part of tha wilderness, requires a 
great deal of arrangement to render it successful ; and 
strange to say, it appears to me that the Indians have 
much less sagacity in this method of hunting than wdiite 
men. The outHne of the plan is simple enough; it is 
merely to find out accurately the position of the herd de- 

Menomenees (or wild rice-eaters), &c. They divide the year into a 
certain number of moons, some of which are called after particular ber- 
ries that ripen at the season, as " Ota-ha-mene Kezus," the wild-straw- 
berry moon — " Meno-me-he, ka-we Kezus," the wild-rice gathering 
moon," &c. Other months are called in a similar manner, " Leaf-fall- 
ing moon," " Deer-rutting moon," " Ice-moon," &c. Maclienzie says 
that the Knisteneaux, who, like the abovementioned tribes, are a branch 
of the Algonkin race or nation, name most of their months after diffe- 
rent animals, as " the moon when birds lay eggs" — the moon when 
birds cast feathers" — " the moon when the moose sheds his horns," dec. 
Vide " jMackenzie's. History of the Fur Trade," p. 100. 


voted to destruction, and then to send out distant parties, 
"which are simuUaneously to approach fronn ditierent 
points, and hem them in on every side. This operation 
is easy on level giound; but the country we now tra- 
versed was abrupt and hilly, full of deep, sandy, and 
broken ravines ; thus the approaching parlies were often 
concealed from the view of each other; some would 
press on too quickly, others arrive too late, and frequently 
hundreds of buffalo escaped, without a shor, through 
some steep gorge or valley, which had not been observed 
nor guarded. 

The buffalo, huge and unwieldy as he is, goes over 
the ground at a rate which is surprising ; he bounds along 
with large though clumsy strides ; and in a rough country 
he dashes down the steep sides of the broken ravines, 
making the dust, ihe sand, and the stones, fly around 
him, with a furious rapidity, that defies the pursuit of a 
rider who has any regard for the neck of his horse or for 
himself. The female, the constant object of the hunter, 
from the superior quality and tenderness of her flesh, is 
beyond all comparison swifter than the male ; she can 
run nearly three miles to his two, and gives a very fair 
chase to a horse of middling speed, fed only on grass^ 
and carrying a man of ordinary size. Moreover, the In- 
dians have neither mercy nor consideration for their un- 
fortunate steeds : they ride with reckless fur}?-, and often 
bring them exhausted and breathless to charge a fresh 
buffalo. On these occasions their temerity is sometimes 
rewarded by severe wounds, sometimes by death ; but 
the latter is not often the case, so great are their activity 
and fleetness of foot should their horse be killed. In the 
last hunt which I described, two horses were gored to 
death, and one Indian had his arm broken. 

On the 29th July, the whole village was like one work- 
shop, the women being all employed in cleaning and pre- 
paring the skins, which was not a matter of much im- 
portance at ihis season, as the hair on the buffalo is, ac- 
cording to the usual provision of nature, poorer and 
shorter in the summer than in the winter. The skins 
which they prepare in the former, are chiefly used in the 
construction of their lodges, the making of laryettes and 


thongs, as well as of wrappers for bales, &c. It u.^^ 
not be uninteresting to record their process of prepara- 
tion. They first take the skin and stretch it in the sun, 
fixing it by snnall wooden pegs, driven through iis border 
all round, into the earth : when thoroughly dry, they 
scrape all the hair fronn one side and the scurfy horny 
matter from the other, with a kind of crooked chisel, 
made sometimes of hard wood, more frequenlly of part 
of the leg-bone of the buffaio : they then proceed to 
soften the skin by spreading over it brains or any other 
mucilage which they can procure. The skins thus pre- 
pared are pliant and convenient materials for a lodge or 
tent, and resist the wet tolerably well. The process of 
preparation for the buffalo-robe in autumn and winter, 
is something similar as regards the inside of the skin : a 
good one is worth, at any of the Missouri agencies, ihree 
dollars and a half; at St. Louis, five ; and at one of the 
atlan'tic cities, from six and a half to ten, according to the 
quality : the best are those made from animals killed in 
October, as the hair is then young, fine, and soft. 

On the evening of the 29th, both my laryettes (which 
were very strong and valuable of their kind) were stolen 
from my two horses, though tied not more than thirty 
yards from the front of our lodge. I should have been 
angry, had I not felt grateful that the rogues had not 
taken the horses also ! 

The wood in this region was extremely scarce, and 
the unforlunate squaws were rambling in all directions 
to collect buffalo-dung dried in the sun ; of this strange 
fuel they brought in a great quantity : when once tho- 
roughly ignited, it burns very well, emits a strong heat, 
and its smell is not so offensive as might be expected ; 
nevertheless, T did not feel disposed to follow the exam- 
ple of my red friends, who squatted close round it in a 
circle, and threw on it thick slices of buffalo meat, which 
they allowed to roast there for a minute or two, in ac- 
tual contact with the fuel, when they picked them out 
with iheir knives, and thus dined ! 

On the .30th, the Great Spirit was still unpropitious, 
and I had leisure to pursue my inquiries into the struc- 
ture of the Pawnee language. 


We broke up our encampment late in the evening 
and travelled till ten at night, when we lay down on the 
prairie without lodges, fire, water, or food ; started the 
following morning at three, and marched about ten miles 
dne south, when we pitched our camp by a small stream- 
let. We were oblis^ed to pursue this southern course, 
as the Indians informed me that neither firewood nor 
water was to be obtained in a more westerly direction ; 
and wo must hereafter make a south-eastern m.arch in 
order to avail ourselves of the sources of the Saline ri- 
ver, and other streams falling into the Kanzas, and divid- 
ed from the upper waters of the Arkansas, by a high 
narrow ridge of country which now lay immediately 
before us. 

The Pawnees being at peace with the Oioes, had al- 
lowed a small band of that tribe to hunt with ihem this 
season : they were led by their chief lotan, whose name 
is well-known to all those who are familiar with the his- 
tory of the western tribes. The story of his deadly feud 
with his elder brother, in which the latter bit off his nose, 
and afterward fell by his rifle, has often been repeated 
to me ; once, indeed, by an eye-witness of the brawl. 
The elder brother had repeatedly insulted and even beat 
the lotan, as he was a man of greater stature and per- 
sonal strength; but the lotan is a brave and haughty 
warrior, and the biting off his nose was an outrage not 
to be pardoned even in a brother ; accordingly, he re- 
venged it, and never attempted to fly, but awaited the 
sentence of the council of Braves, which terminated in 
his being elected chief in his brother's place. This 
chief is highly esteemed, and has taken many scalps in 
his early days ; and even now, the fifty-five or sixty years 
which have passed over him, have neither dimmed the 
fire of his eye nor stiffened the elasticity of his joints. 
He is accompanied by four or five of his braves and by 
one of his wives. These men are more civilized than 
the Pawnees, and I believe affect to despise them ; but 
in horsemanship, as well as in wild picturesque appear- 
ance and habits, they are very inferior. Old lotan is 
upon very friendly terms with the whites : he speaks a 
few w^ords of English ; and I learned from him some- 


thing of his language : he is a brave, daring, and 3'et a 
quiet chief — but, alas ! he has been corrupted by the 
poison of the whiskey bottle. 

I went this day (.-51st) to a great medicine feast of 
chiefs, including all the principal warriors of the grand 
Pawnees, ihe Tapages, the Loups, and the Otoe Chief. 
As usual in such cases, the feast consisted of only one 
kind of food, and the number of wooden bowls and buf- 
falo-horn spoons indicated that fifty guests were expected 
to empty an enormous caldron of maize, which was boil- 
ing on a fire before the lodge : no excuses of illness or 
occupation are ever offered or accepted ; and if one guest 
happens to be absent, the party, however numerous it 
may be, must patiently await his arrival. On this oc- 
casion we waited an hour and a half before the assem- 
blage was complete, during which the medicine pipe 
went solemnly and regularly round, and the monotonous 
dignity of silence was rather heightened than diminished 
by the volumes of Kinnekenik smoke which hovered 
lazily over the motionless group. When the last guest 
had arrived, we were seated in two rows, each consist- 
ing of twenty-five persons, face to face, like a sedentary 
country dance, and the ceremony was commenced by an 
impromptu oration from an aged medicine-man selected 
by the great chief. 

This speech was an euloginm on the giver of the feast, 
narrating the deeds of his father, and concluding with an 
enumeration of his own prowess in battle, and generosity 
in furnishing the banquet. The orator spoke with great 
fluency, and with a mixture of simplicity and digrn'ty, 
which gave a pleasing effect to that which was in reality 
little more than fulsome and reiterated flattery. A great 
portion of his oration was in the form of question, or 
appeal to the audience ; such as, " Was not his father 
a great chief among the people ? — was he not called ' the 
bear who walks at night?' — Is not this chief like his fa- 
ther ? — has he not slain men ? — is not his medicine-bag 
full ? — is not his hand open to us now ? — is not his 
tongue single ?" Such was the tenour of his language, 
according to what 1 could gather, and to such informa- 
tion as I could gain from the interpreter. At the con- 


elusion of each of these questions he made a pause ; 
and his audience testified their assent with the customary 
interjection " Hou ! hou !" which they continued a few 
moments after he had ceased, in a manner less noisy, but 
similar to the " hears" which gratify a speaker in the 
House of Commons when he resumes his seat. 

Other orators, selected apparently by acclamation, 
though quietly and without confusion, followed in a like 
strain ; and the feature most remarkable in their style of 
speaking was the total absence of hesitation, and the 
apparent facility and fluency of their enunciation. 

There is great beauty of modulation in the tones of 
an Indian orator's voice, and I must confess that I have 
never in civilized life heard one that combined so much 
terrible fierceness with the softest and gentlest accents. 
The transition from one to the other iS^rapid, but not 
ungraceful, because the whole man is imbued with his 
subject ; and while the praise of hospitality, or a " single 
tongue," is delivered with a grave and gentle demeanour, 
the threatenings of revenge, the recital of a bloody fray, 
and the declamation of angry invective, transform the 
orator into a fierce warrior; his eye becomes red and 
dilated — the veins on his forehead start into ridges like 
cordage, while the muscular heaving of the advanced 
and swollen chest, give full effect to the rapid utterance 
of the lips and the terrible loudness of the voice. 

To return to our feast. As soon as these orations 
were concluded, twenty-five large wooden bowls of maize 
w^ere placed before the, guests, two spoons being placed 
in each bowl, and the messmates being vis-a-vis, and not 
side by side. Before a morsel was tasted, the first chief set 
apart one large spoonful, and gave it to the master of the 
ceremonies, or the officiating medicine-man, who made 
with his seal ping-knife two small holes in the earth ; and 
having divided the spoonful of maize into two unequal 
portions, the larger of which was dedicated to the buffalo 
(subordinate spirit), the smaller to the Great Spirit, he 
turned to the east, and three times bowed his body, at 
the same time raising and lowering his hands : then 
agair^ he turned to the guests, and went through the same 
ceremonial of benediction, after which the work of de- 
molition began. 


In many of ihe feasts which I had previously attend- 
ed, I had been led to admire the capacity and perseve- 
rance of hungry Indians, but I had never before been 
witness to a trial of speed such as the present. On 
ordinary occasions, the Pawnee rule of etiquette is, that 
when ihe invited guests have eaten as njuch as they 
please of the meal set before them, he among them who 
came in last, and occupies the place farthest from the 
host — usually the extreme left — takes the remainder, 
whether it be buffalo meat or maize, and carries it back 
to the women of his lodge ; an omission of this usage 
is considered an incivility^ ; but on the present occasion 
the rule was, not only that every thing must be eaten on 
the spot, but should also be devoured as soon as possi- 
ble ; and those Vvho were last in this masticatory or di- 
gestive race, v/ere laughed at and lightly esteemed by 
their competitors.* The bowls held about three quarts 
each of boiled maize, which, from protracted simmering 
over the fire, had acquired a consistency between that of 
porridge and paste : this glutinous mass was to be swal- 
lowed without the aid of milk, salt, water, or any other 
assistant whatsoever ; and, to crown my misfortunes, I 
had already been to two common feasts, and had taken 
my usual quantum of dinner before I received this great 

Of course, my first impulse was to cast an inquiring 
look at the corporeal proportions of the partner whom 
fate (or rather the great chief) had allotted to me in the 
approaching trial, in the hope that my eye might rest 
upon some lanky capacious man, who might have, like 
Cassius, " a lean and hungry look ;" but alas ! it fell 
upon the round and good-humoured countenance of a 
plump little chief, who had accompanied us from Fort 
Leavenworth, and whom I knew, from the circumstance 
of his father having saved the life of my friend Captain 

C , of the United States' arm}^, on an occasion when 

he had been so unfortunate as to fall into the hands of a 
hostile Pawnee party. My " fat friend" gave me to un- 
derstand that his stomach was not in fighting order, and I 

* For a similar custom among the Knietcneaux Indians, see Appendix. 


cast a rueful glance ai ihe great bowl before me, revolving 
in my mind the various gastric feats pertormed by Jack 
the Giant-killer, Fortunio's follower, and other heroes 
celebrated m nursery legends ; but there was hitle time 
for reflection — the signal was given, and the onset com- 

1 liave read in travel volumes, and I have seen in- 
stances, of the extraordinary speed with whicli the mixed 
company at crowded American hotels or steam-boat dui- 
ners can clear a well-loaded table ; but here ihey would 
have been distanced, and beaien beyond all comparison. 
Neither do I believe that any of ihem, from a Yankee 
pedler to a Keniucky boaiman inclusive, could have 
demoHshed one-third of the mess in the allotted time. 
In all my intercourse with the Pawnees, I made it a rule 
to humour their prejudices, and to accommodate myself 
to iheir usages, however absurd. Moreover, I endea- 
voured 10 make them believe that I could surpass them 
in anything which I chose to attempt. I had contrived 
to give currency to this belief, by engaging some of tiieir 
strongest men in the exercise of throwing, or "putting," 
a heavy stone, to wliich tliey were altogether unaccus- 
tomed ; and, more than once, by shooting wuh them at 
a distant mark, where the great superiority of my rifle 
over their miserable guns enabled me to hit an object at 
a hundred and fifty yards, which they could not touch at 

I thought it essential to my estimation, if not to my 
safety among them, to keep up this belief in my supe- 
riority ; and even in the present absurd instance 1 did not 
wish that our bowl should be the last finished. How- 
ever, it was in vain that I attacked it with a most deter- 
mined spirit ; the solid, sticky, indigestible mass resisted 
my utmost eff'orts ; and while I was labouring at the 
mastication of small morsels, I could see fragments of 
one or two square inches finding their easy way down 
the Indian-rubber throats of my competitors. Any man 
who has seen a small short-le^ored spaniel running after a 
large rough greyhound, in heather between two and three 
feet high, can form an estimate of the kind of race in 
which I was here engaged. 
Vol. I.— X 


Fortunately for my credit, my plump comrade stop- 
ped short, ar^d pleaded severe illness, (which was, indeed, 
true, for, instead of stuffing himself with maize, he 
ought to have been using fever medicine and ihe lancet ;) 
and his left-hand neighbour, a huge hungry warrior, who 
hat! already disposed of his allowance, was permitted to 
replace him. With the aid of this new ally, nriy bowl 
became more empty. I contrived logive tiim the largest 
spoon, and used oiher generous devices to bestow upon 
him at least iwo-lh>ds of our mess, of all which move- 
R^enls on my part he seemed perfectly unconscious ; but 
lie went quietly on, swallowing his portion Aviih imper- 
turbable gravity ; and when our bowl was emptied, he 
seemed as ready to begin another as before. Alas ! even 
with tliis powerful auxiliary, I was last but one in the 

The ordinary method of invitation to a feast is as fol- 
lows : — A boy or lad, not yet classed among the hunters, 
is sent from the lodge of the host to that of the invited 
parly ; on arriving, he nierelv mentions the name of the 
latter, making a slight inclination of the head, when he 
remains perfectly still until the guest rises to follow him 
to the feastino-lodge. These young messengers are pro- 
vokingly persevering in the discharge of their office, and 
"will find the victim of their politeness however desirous 
lie may be of absenting himself. On one occasion, 
having eaten three or four dinners of buffalo meat, and 
dreading another invitation, I took my rifle and strolled 
along the banks of a creek for two or three miles, until I 
found a few dwarf elders, which promised the luxury of 
a liule quiet and shade. I lay down below them, drew 
a volume from my pocket, and began to read. 

I had been thus occupied not more than ten minutes, 
when I heard a gentle voice by my side call me bv name, 
I^'eshada-ia-ka (white cfiief) ; I looked up, and saw a boy 
about twelve years of age, who had followed or tracked 
me all tins distance to summon me to a feast. I was 
obliged to leplace Milton in my pocket and follow my 
\oung lormentor, under the penally of insulting the In- 
dian who had seni him. 

August I. — This day was, I believe, the anniversary 

A STAMPED©. 243 

of my arrival in the United Stales ; but how different 
in character and temperature ! The wind blew from the 
north-east, accompanied by a drizzling rain, over an 
ocean of prairie, where there was neither tree nor moun- 
tain to check its sweeping course ; and the day was cer- 
tainly as raw and cold as an average November in Scot- 
land ; whereas, on the same day last year, the thermo- 
meter in the shade at New York was at 9^*^ Fahrenheit. 
The character of the country was somewhat changed 
since we left the north wanch of the Kanzas river, as 
it became gradually more flinty. The only vegetation 
was the prickly pear and the grass ; which last, though 
very short, is sweet and nutritious, and would, I believe, 
make excellent sheep-pasture, but the wolves would be 
the only shepherds ; for assuredly no human being could 
reside permanently in this barren wilderness, ill-supplied 
as it is with water, and worse with fuel. We wasted 
day after day in idleness, and began to be most heartily 
tired of our Pawnee friends. 


A Stanipedo. — Number of Horses in the Encampment. — Moccasins.— 
Prickly Pears— Feet wounded by them. — Indian Surgery.— Impro- 
vident' Inactivity. — Desire to return to the civilized World. — Indian 
E.vtortion.— Medical Faculty.— Modeof Practice — Stroll after Niaht- 
fall. — Narrow Escape.— Scarcity of Water.— Haitans.— Buffalo 
Hunt.— Dinner on raw Buffalo Meat.— Long Shot at an Antelope.— 
Advantage of the Bow over the Rifle in Buffalo Hunting. — Value of 
the Buffalo to the Western Tribes.— An Accident.— Extraordinary 
Spot.— Bird Nesting.— My Library. — Thoughts of Home.— Herd of 

In the last six days we had travelled but few miles ; 
and, except in pursuing my difficult and unsatisfactory 
inquiries into the customs and language of the Pawnees, 
I had little to relieve the dirty monotony of our hves. 
One evening, however, we had a magnificent specimen 
of a scene of which I had previously seen instances of 
a more partial character ; this is called by the white tra- 


ders a Stumpedo ; a most expressive word, which the 
following sketch may serve to explain : — 

About an hour after the usual tune at which the horses 
were brought in for the night, hobbled, and otherwise 
secured near the tents and fires of their respective own- 
ers, an indistinct sound arose like the muttering of distant 
thunder. As it approached it became mingled with the 
howling of all the dogs in the encampment, and with the 
shouts and yells of the Indians. In coming nearer, it 
lose high above all these ac^mpanimenls, and resem- 
bling the lashing of a heavy surf upon a beach. Oi> 
and on it rolled towards us, and partly from my own 
hearing, partly from the hurried words and actions of 
the tenants of onr lodge, I gathered that it must be the 
fierce and uncontrollable gallop of thousands of panic- 
stricken horses. 

As this living torrent drew nigh, I sprang to the front 
of the tent, seized my favourite riding-mare^ and, in ad- 
dition to the hobbles which confined her,, twisted the long 
laryette round her fore-legs, then led her imm.ediately in 
front of the fire, hoping that tlie excited and maddened 
flood of horses would divide, and pass on each side of it. 
At the same time I directed my servant to secure anoiher 
of my horses; but he was so confused and astonished 
by the roaring tumultuous sound, that he seemed to have 
thought that the Shiennes were again attacking us — and> 
instead of following my instructions, ran about, before 
and in the tent, looking for pistols { As the gallopping 
mass drew nigh, our horses began to snort, prick up their 
ears, and then to tremble ; and, when it burst upon us, 
they became completely ungovernable from terror. All 
broke loose and joined their affrighted companions, ex- 
cept my mare, which struggled with the fury of a wild 
beast, and I only retained her by using all my strength, 
and at last throwing her on her side. On went the mad- 
dened troop, trampling, in their headlong spe-ed, over 
skins, dried meat, &c., and throwing down some of the 
smaller tents. They were soon lost in the darkness of 
night and in the wilds of the prairie, and nothincr more 
was heard of them save the distant yelping of the curs 
which continued their ineffectual pursuit. 

Horses in the camp. 245 

This is a stampedo, and is one of the most extraor- 
dinary scenes I have ever beheld, as may easily be ima- 
gined by any one who reflects that this race of terror is 
run in darkness, only partially lighted by the fitful glare 
of half-exlinguished fires, and that it is moreover run by 
several thousand steeds, driven by terror to ungovernable 
madness. The first origin of the panic I never could 
learn ; but its consequences were such as might be sup- 
posed, namely, that the whole of the following day was 
occupied in driving back, securing, and appropriating the 
horses to their respective masters. I do not think that 
many were lost to their rightful owners. For my part, 
1 lost none ; but, by a strange inconsequence of honesty 
among my Pawnee friends, all my halters and laryeltes, 
broken or unbroken, were taken away. The reader may 
imagine that it was impossible for me to ascertain, with 
any approach to accuracy, the number of horses in the 
Pawnee encampment ; but, lest he should be disposed 
to consider the above description exaggerated, I will 
subjoin the facts upon which I founded my calculation. 

There were in all about six hundred lodges. Some 
of the poorest families had perhaps only two or three 
horses, wherewith to transport all their meats, skins, 
children, and the poles and other articles composing the 
lodge ; but many of the chiefs and braves, who had been 
successful in war-parties, had from eight to twelve. My 
old chief, Sa-ni-tsa-rish, had been robbed of most of his 
horses the preceding year by a hostile party of Sioux, 
and he gave me to understand, that his eldest son was 
now on an excursion beyond the Arkansas, to trade for 
some with the Camanches, Haitans, and other southern 
tribes ; meanwhile he had only five or six, and those of 
the meanest description. But I examined more than 
once the stud of the great chief, and of his son Pa^-ta^- 
la^-cha'ro; the latter had three or four mules and fifteen 
or twenty horses ; the former at least thirty, among which 
were some wild, some Spanish, and three of American 

After this little incident, we resumed our usual routine 
of feasts of buffalo meat, and sometimes half-boiled 
maize, bruised or whole, eight or ten limes a-day. As 


hunting was strictly forbidden, the only change from 
these continual and uninviting meals, was to lie in the 
close and dirty lodge, where the perpetual squalling of 
children rendered reading almost impossible. The 
squaws in our lodge continued to be very kind to me, 
and often was I roused from a reverie or a short sleep by 
feeling ihem tickle my feet, in endeavouring to fit upon 
them a pair of moccasins which they had made for me. 

It is well known that the moccasms of almost all the 
tribes differ from each other in fashion and ornament; 
and if an experienced prairie hunter finds one in the 
wilderness, he can form a shrewd guess at the tribe of 
him who dropped it. Among them all I think the most 
ugly and shapeless are those of my friends the Pawnees; 
however, as the squaws gave them to me, I felt bound to 
wear them ; and my gallantry cost me dear, for the plain 
where we were camped was full of prickly pears* and 
those too the coarsest and largest which I had yet seen ; 
some of the thorns on the leaves were four or five inches 
long, with a kind of bulb or barb at the point, supposed 
to be slightly charged with poison. How the Indians 
avoid them in the dark I cannot learn ; certain it is, how- 
ever, that in g^ing about camp after dusk I wounded my 
feet repeatedly, though I could not see many Indians 
lamed by them. But at last I received so severe a lesson 
that I was obliged to give up my moccasins, and lake 
again to my thick shoes, until we should leave this sandy 

I was going out to feast at the lodge of a Tapage 
brave, who lived at some distance, and the evening, had 
closed in before I reached it. My path lay through a 
bed of these odious plants. I put my left fool upon one, 
and receiving a smart puncture, leaped forward, and came 
with my right foot, and with all my weight, full upon 
another; a strong thorn ran an inch or two into my foot 
below the instep, and as I stumbled, broke off nearly 
even with the skin. I limped forward as well as I was 
able, and finding my host sitting behind his fire, accosted 
him with the usual salutation, " L6w-a," and, according 

* The botanical name is Cachis ferox. 


to Indian custom, took my seat by him in silence, with- 
out mentioning my hurt, although my foot felt as if on fire. 
He happened to be a good-naiured fellow, and while the 
squaws were separating, and laying before each of the 
guests a buffalo-rib, he pointed to my foot, and said, 
"The Chalick's ta-ka is hurt." I told him, with as much 
indifference as I could affect, that a thorn had gone 
through my moccasin, and was now deep in my foot. 
He said one of his young men should take it out ; and 
gave directions to a youth of about twenty to come for- 
ward. When the stocking and moccasin were removed, 
and my white foot and ankle were uncovered, with a 
small blue circle of inflammation round the heel of the 
thorn, a look passed among the dusky figures who were 
around me, which I interpreted into a kind of insulting 
pity for the tender skin of the pale-face. My indigna- 
tion made nje forget the pain. 

The young man succeeded, after sundry efforts, in 
getting hold of the end of the thorn ; and he began to 
pull it gently, but strongly, from its bed. Fortunately, 
it was very large and tougli, and did not break, but, as 
the barb met with much resistance as he drew it through 
the inflamed parts, I thought I had never felt a more acute 
pain for a moment or two ; but the iron visages and glar- 
ing eyes around me effectually steeled my pride, and, 
except a heightened flush on my face, I believe I went 
through the sharp, though trifling operation, with as much 
Btoie indifference as would have been displayed by one 
ef themselves. I believe that an involuntary exclama- 
tion, or shrinking of the body, would have lowered me 
much in their estimation ; as it was, the young man 
showed the thorn, with the blood upon it, to the brave, 
who said " Ush 1" and the feast proceeded. I walked 
home, like a culprit of old, among hot ploughshares., and 
put away my moccasins in my saddle-bags. 

The folly of the Indians in wasting so much valuable 
time was to me almost incomprehensible, when it is con- 
sidered that their whole winter supply of provisions de- 
pends upon the summer hunt. They would be obliged 
to return to their village in three or four weeks, or they 
v/ould lose their crop of maize; but their thoughtless im- 


providence is proverbial. Several causes of anxiety an- 
noyed nne. I had lost by faiigue, and the inclusions of 
hostile tribes, four of ray original stock of horses ; neither 
was ihe remainder in a very effective condition. My 
German companion, as well as bolh my attendants was 
most, anxious to return to the civilized world ; and I con- 
fess we had few inducement to remain. I therefore ex- 
amined the contents of my packs, in order to see whether 
I had still CTiough to purchase two or three horses. 
There appeared more than sufficient to buy them at their 
visual price, namely, one pair of Mackinaw blankets, a 
piece of scarlet cloth, a few ounces of rouge, half a pound 
of tobacco, some beads or irinkets, and half a dozen 
knives, such as are commonly used by butchers. 

The half-'-'awnee interpreter gave me no assistance ; 
but he seemed to be upon an understanding with the 
savages, that, as we were oblic-ed to purchase horses at 
any rate, it was as well to make us pay handsomely for 
ihem ; indeed, no Yorkshire dealer, nor channel pilot, 
nor Yankee pedler, ever outdid the iniquitous enormity 
of their demands. Nor were the young men whom we 
spoke to, in reference to acting as our guides hom.eward, 
much less unreasonable than the horse-dealers. I agreed, 
however, with one (a younger brother of 8a-ni-tsa-rish), 
and an active lad related to him. The bargain, which 
was the best that I was able to make, was, that I agreed 
to give them, on arriving at Fort Leavenworth, the value 
of three or four hor.-<es. Nevertheless, f was not so 
angry at this extortion as at the other, because the guides 
must experience much faiiuue and dirticulty in taking 
us over so extensive a wilderness ; besides which, they 
ran no little risk of falling in with stray war orhunting- 
pRrties of Shiennes, Sioux, Ricaras, or other hostile In- 
dians, w^ho would certainly scalp them, and probably us, 
also, for being in their company. 

J' The avarice and extortion here complained of form a 
strange contrast with the open and constant hospitality 
of Indians in regard to food and clothing; but of all the 
rogues in the tribe, those most pre-eminent in cheating 
and hypocrisy are the " medical faculty P These fel- 
lows are of a kindred character with the Augurs, or great 


medicine-men, and are, in fact, a lower branch of the 
same def)ariment. Any ignorant idler who takes it into 
his head to become a doctor, gives notice of it to the 
Pawnee world by assuming a solemn deportment, wear- 
ing his robe with the hair outward, and learning lo make 
a noise in his throat, which is distinctive of his profes- 
sion, and which resembles the sound made by a person 
wl)o is gargling for a relaxed uvula. Here his medical 
studies and accomplishments end ; and his reputation de- 
pends entirely upon the result of his first attempts, which 
must evidently be altogether fortuitous. 

In gieat cases, such as a broken leg or mortal disease 
of a chief, the medicine-men are called in to assist with 
their mummery; but the treatment of ordinary diseases 
by these practitioners, will be understood by my noting 
down accurately what took place at the daily and nightly 
visits of the doctor who attended our chief's lodge. The 
patient was one of the children, gradually and certainly 
dying, from shameful maltreatment under the hooping- 
cough. It should, however, be remembered, in excul- 
pation of the (lalen^ that the parents fed the child three 
or four times a-da}'', with enormous meals of half-boiled 
maize or buffalo meat, each of which acting as an eme- 
tic, enabled the wretched little sufferer to swallow its 

The learned doctor stalked into the lodge with all the 
dignified importance of the most practised pulse-feeler, 
rarely deigning to salute the parents or other inhabitants. 
He then stooped down over the child ; look a little earth 
in his hand, which he moistened with saliva, and, wiih 
the precious mixture thus form.ed, he anointed the 
shoulders, the forehead, and other parts of the child, es- 
pecially the pit of the stomach ; then approaching his 
mouih to this last, and covering with his robe his own 
head and the person of his patient, he commenced the 
gargling operation to which I have before alluded. This 
I have known him frequently to continue for three or four 
hours at a time, udien he left the unfortunate sufferer as 
he found it, without having used friction or embrocation, 
or administered medicine of any kind whatever. 

It only remains to add, respecting the disciples of 


vEsculapius, that if the patient recovers, their fame is 
blazed abroad, and they receive in horses, meat, blan- 
kets, &c., a fee much higher in proportion to the wealth 
of any of the parlies, than was ever given to bjir Asiley 
Cooper or Sir Henry Halford. If the patient dies, the 
doctor is considered "bad medicine," and generally leaves 
the profession for a year or two, during which time, he 
pursues the ordinary avocations of stealing, hunting, or 
fighting, until his ill-name is forgotten, or some fortunate 
incident has obtained for him a white-washed reputation. 
Such is a sketch of the Pawnee faculty. 

As I alluded lately to the hospitahty of this, as of other 
tribes, I should qualify those expressions by mentioning, 
that although I considered my life, and my property, even 
to the merest trifles, safe, while under the shelter of my^ 
old chief's lodge, I am not justifiable in makmg the same 
assertion respectmg all the other Indians of the tribe ; 
that is, I was his guest, not their guest ; and the old man 
himself warned me and my companion repeatedly, that 
there were " many bad men about," and that we should 
not, on any account, stray from the encampment after 
dusk. Of course, we did not neglect this caution ; but, 
on one afternoon we ran some risk of paying a severe 
penalty for having forgotten it. 

We had been to a feast, given by a chief whose lodge 
was near the boundary of the camp ; and, after taking 
our leave, were tempted, by the extreme beauty of the 
evening, to take a short ramble and enjoy the cool fresh- 
ness of the twilight. We wandered on, and became so 
much interested in talking over liome (as we then styled 
Fort Leavenworth), and our plan for reaching it, that 
we were unconscious of the distance we had walked, 
until a pause in the conversation, and the deepening 
shades warned us of our imprudence. I turned round 
and saw an Indian following us, with a bow in his hand 
and a quiver full of arrows at his back. I looked at my 
own belt and that of my companion, and became con- 
vinced of the unpleasant Iruih that vve were boih entirely 
unarmed. I asked iiim if he had not even a pocket-pis- 
tol or knife. Knives we had, but gun or pistol none. I 

It was the first time that I had laid aside mv fire-arms, 


and the first time that either of us had disregarded the 
old chief's warning. There was someihinL; most galhng, 
and I might almost add, fearful, in the idea of the possi- 
bility of our being shot down there, like two deer, without 
the chance of a struggle for our lives, and where none 
but I he savage, at whose mercy we were, could ever 
learn the manner or place of our death. Such thoughts 
pass through the mind with a rapidity unknown to the 
pen. But we had no time to dehberate : hesitation, when 
dealing with Indians, is certain destruction : inaeed, 
among white men it is often little better. 

VV'e agreed to turn instantly, and walk quickly up to 
him, with the farther arrangement, that if we saw him 
draw out an arrow to fit it to his bow, we would bdWi run 
upon him at once, and, as he could shoot but one, the 
other might use his knife as he best might. We put this 
plan in execution, and he was evidently taken bysurprise. 
He was an Indian whose face I did not remember to 
have seen before ; and a more malignant scowling visage 
I never beheld. 

fn an instant we were at his side ; and I gave him the 
salutation of the evening with as little di^tru:5t and as 
much confidence in his intentions as 1 could assume. I 
got nothing but a short growl for an answer. He ap- 
peared desirous that we should prosecute our walk, and 

let him remain again behind : but I told V lo keep 

him now that we had a;oi him, and not to let him leave 
us on any pretence, as, at these close quarters, where his 
bow was unserviceable, either of us was a match for him 
in strength. 1 could get no words from him; his eye 
was troubled, and his whole look villainous. 

I told him carelessly, that " it was late, and it was 
good to go back to our chiefs ;" and, half locking my arm 
in his, we returned toward the camp. When we had 
reached a point wlience we could see the fires, and from 
which the noise of a struggle would reach the outposts, 
we felt comparatively secure. Immediately before us 
were som.e very small mounds, or hillocks ; and, as we 
approached them, our Indian broke from us, and, running 
forward, spoke in a hurried accent to two or three of his 
red brethren, who lay concealed, and when on the ground, 


were scarcely distinguishable. His communication to them 
was doubtless to the effect that the plan had failed ; for, 
on receivmg it, they stole off in various directions. 

It was now pretty evident that this pany of rogues 
had watched us when we began our walk, and had de- 
spatched one of their number to follow us steahhily. 
When we had wandered sufficiently far to prevent any 
chance of discovery from the noise of a struggle reach- 
ing the camp, he would have returned, brought them 
with him, and have shot us, in order to get possession of 
our clothes, knives, and such weapons as they might 
suppose us to have. I may do them wrong ; but this is 
my firm conviction as regards their intentions towards 
us. If we had there lost our lives through our folly in 
neglecting warnings, and going moreover unarmed, it 
must be confessed we should have deserved our fate. I 
was glad to sit down again in old Sa-ni-tsa-rish's lodge, 
and of course said nothing to him of the incident. We 
had no proof whereon to ground an accusation, and I 
always avoided even the sliglitest appearance of distrust. 

On the 2d of August we broke up our encampment 
at daylight, and moved on about twelve miles south; 
halted, and pitched our tents by the side of a small 
muddy streamlet, which we were glad to find not quite 
dry. Indeed, if one wished for an illustration of the 
delusive nature of many of our fondest hopes and ex- 
pectations in life, I scarcely know where to find one more 
apt and appropriate than the constant disappointment to 
which the traveller is liable in this western wilderness. 
He pursues his weary way under a burning sun, until 
half exhausted by heat and fatigue, he sees in the dis- 
tance a curved green line of poplar or small cotton-wood 
trees, by which the course of a stream or creek is always 
indicated. Cheered and refreshed by the view, he spurs 
on his jaded horse, and arrives, at length, at the wished- 
for point; where he sees to his dismay, the hot sun- 
beams reflected from white stones and dry sand — which 
form, indeed, in spring or winter, the bed of a river; 
but where he might now search in vain for a drop of 
water to cool his parched tongue ! T/m^dropis a luxu- 
ry which he must again search for, and which may cost 


him another hour or two of weary travel ; and fortunate 
is he if it does not cost him half a day. 

To proceed. At mid-day we went to hunt buffalo. 
There were marks and indications of large herds ; but 
the beasts had been frightened away by a war-party of 
Haiians, who had been heie only the night before. 
Tliese Indians were not at war with"^the village in which 
I was living, but with the Pawnee Loups, who stole 
some horses from them last year, and the principal band 
of whom were now hunting to the northward of us. The 
Haitans seem to be a small wandering tribe, who gene- 
rally roam between the countries inhabited on the north 
by the Pawnees, and on the sonlh by the Camanches ; 
and their principal employment seems to consist in steal- 
ing horses from the Mexican and other traders, and sell- 
ing tl)em to their more powerful neighbours. 

I learned distinctly from the Pawnees, that many of 
their horses had come from the Haitans ; and as cer- 
tainly that a great proportion of the guns and other arti- 
cles annually distributed (as before stated) among the 
Pawnees, find their way to this rambling tribe, in pay- 
ment for their horses. At this time Sa-ni-tsa-rish's eldest 
son was upon a trading expedition with them, as I have 
before mentioned, and his return with a few horses w^as 
daily expected. The old chief seemed to await his ar- 
rival with the greatest anxiety. 

I could not start so early in the chase this day as 
some of my red brother hunters ; so the cows and the 
advanced guard of the herd were n)any miles a-head be- 
,fore I came on the field of action. I was now sensible 
of the vital importance of sparing my horses as much 
as possible, that I contented m3^self with assisting in the 
slaughter of a few scattered fugitives. I was moreover, 
ravenously hungry and almost faint for want of food, for 
it was now about four o'clock in the afternoon. I had 
eaten nothing since noon of the preceding da}^ and had 
been since dawn in the saddle, under a most oppressive 
sun. I came to a spot wiiere a young bull had been 
slightly wounded by two or three arrows, the owners of 
which were now walking round and round him, at a re- 
spectful distance, as he had turned to bay, and con- 

VoL. I.— y 


fronted his nearest antagonists wiiha most determined air. 
An Indian does not often shoot at a buffalo whose head is 
toward him, knowing ihe impend rable nature of his fore- 
head, and of the shaggy mat)ile of hair which protects 
the fore part of his body : beside which, these men and 
their horses, were wearied by the long gallop which the 
pursuit had given us. As I approached, they asked if 
" the white chief would kill the buffalo with his great 
gun?" I gave my assent, and, going up wiihin sixty 
yards, wounded him w'nh my first, and killed him wiih 
my second ball. 

I reloaded my rifle, while the Indians cut him up with 
a speed which appeared to me, even among ///ewz, unex- 
ampled ; indeed, they were nearly famished ; and as 
they squalled on iheir hams round the huge animal, 
and devoured large slices which they cut of yet warm, a 
civilized man might have doubted w^^lelher they were 
wolves or human beings. But / was no longer a civi- 
lized man — hunger had triumphed over the last traces of 
civilization — 1 received with thankfulness, and ate with 
eagerness, a good piece of the warm liver, untouched by 
fire, water, or salt, and I found it as agreeable to the 
palate, and as tender as an) morsel I ever tasted. It 
must sound horrible to others, as it did to me a few 
weeks ago, but lei none condemn me till he has been in 
a similar situation. 

Here a little incident occurred, which was probably 
of great use to me in raising to a height altogether un- 
deserved, the Indians' opinions of my powers, as a 
maiksman; and I feel assured, that none of the party 
who saw it, nor any of those to whom they may have 
related it, would ever approach me openly vviih hostile 
intent. Wiiile we w^ere enjoying our Sybarite meal of 
raw meat, an Indian next to me uttered the usual Uahf 
(by which they express the presentation of any new ob- 
ject to their eyes,) and pointed to an antelofie which was 
galloping along the side of a small rising ground oppo- 
site to us, at a distance much beyond the ordinary rifle- 
range for so small an object; the other Indians also 
looked at it, and I caufrht up my rifle which lay at my 
side ; ihey all shook their heads and said, it was '' no 
use ; it was loo far for the white chief's gun." 


I know not what strange presentiment inspired me 
with confidence, but I told them quietly it was " quite 
easy — I would shoot." 1 stepped out, and put up the 
highest sight of my rifle, so as to give my ball sufficient 
elevation, and taking an aim rather hasty than careful, I 
pulled the trigger. Much more to my own astonishment 
than tlieirs, my ball went through both the hind-quarters 
of the antelope. Shouts of admiration and surprise were 
raised by the savages, who ran to secure the little prize; 
but I pretended that it was a mere matter of course, 
said nothing, laid down my rifle, and continued my meal. 
This is one of the most extraordinary chance shots that 
I ever made",' (as I do not pretend to any great skill with 
the rifle ;) I measured the distance by stepping it soon af- 
terward, and made it two hundred and ten yards ; which 
is certainly a long shot, when it is considered that the 
animal is not much larger than a greyhound, and was 
running at speed. 

I was Uiuch amused for the next hour, by seeing the 
sly glances which the Indians stole from time to time at 
me and my short rifle ; then they would look at each 
other with an expression which seemed to say, " we had 
better keep clear of that man and his gun !" While we 
were discussing this uncouth meal, sojne of the hunters, 
who had obtained the best start, and who were well- 
mounted, came up with the large herd, and killed about 
two hundred. And here F may remark, that the bow 
and arrow is beyond all question the most effective 
weapon for killing buffalo ; it would be so even in the 
hands of an indiff'erent archer, because it is only neces- 
sary to have a well-trained horse, who is sufficiently 
fleet to overtake the game, but who will not pass them, 
so as to incur the danger of their formidable horns ; the 
hunter may then gallop up behind them, keeping always 
on their right flank, so as to have the free use of his 
bow, and when Vv^ithin five or six yards, shoot one or 
two ariows into the loins in the oblique direction, which 
the relative position of the parlies renders easy and 
almost unavoidable. Even, if, as I before said, the 
archer be an indifferent one, and the arrows only enter 
four or five inches into the flank, every motion that the 


poor animal makes brinors some new portion of his 
wounded interior in contact with the sharp arrow-head, 
and he soon seeks relief in standing still, when he is 
either left to a' slow and lingering death, or becomes an 
easier mark for a deliberate aim. But with the Paw- 
nees, at least among the braves and warriors, it is very 
rare that only a few inches of the arrow enter ; on the 
contrary, unless it strike full upon a rib-bone, it generally 
penetrates two-thirds of its length, and is often buried 
up to the feathers ; indeed, I have seen the greater part 
of the feathers buried also, and have been assured by 
many, both Indians and white traders, that they have 
frequently known an arrov/ to be sent clean through a 
buffalo, and to stick into the ground ; tfiis last I never saw, 
but I can believe it. In shociing these animals with 
ball the risk is much greater, for when wounded they 
feel less pain in motion than in remaining still ; and, 
therefore, they gallop either away from, or in pursuit of, 
the hunter, until they receive the mortal shot. 

I cannot convey any just impression of the total 
dependence of the remote western tribes on buffalo, for 
their very existence, without giving a sketch of the vari- 
ous purposes for which that animal is, by their ingenuity, 
rendered available. First, its flesh is their princifial, 
sometimes their only, food ; eaten fresh on the prairies 
during their hunt, and dried, in their winter villages. 
Secondly, the skin is put to various uses ; it forms the 
material of their lodges, of their bales for packing the 
meat^ of their bed by ni^ht, and their clothing by day ; 
the coarser parts they make into saddles, or cut into lar- 
yettes or halters ; and more than all, it is now their chief 
article of trade uith the whites, and thus is the source 
whence they must derive blankets, knives, beads, and 
every other produce of civilization. Thirdly, they use 
the sinews as strings to their bows, and the smaller 
fibres instead of twine or thread ; the brains serve to 
soften and dress the skins, while (as is elsewhere noted 
in thisjournal) the hoof, at the end of the shank-bone, is 
made to answer the purpose of a mallet. Fourthly, the 
bones are not less useful \ some of tliem being service- 


able as scrapers^ or coarse chisels* others are pointed, 
and nsed wiili the finer fibres as needle and thread ; and 
the ribs, strengihened by some of the *^tronger fibres, 
are made to furnish the bow with which olher buffalo 
are to be destroyed; this last is the triumph of Indian 
ingenuity. The first bow that I saw constructed in this 
marnier caused so much surprise and admiration, that I 
offered nearly the value of a horse for it, but was re- 
fused.! When I add to the foregoing particulars, that on 
the barren prairies the Indians frequently depend upon 
the buffalo for their fuel, and on its bladder for the means 
of carryin<T water, it will not be denied that the animal 
is essential to their existence ; and where the buffalo is 
exterminated, the Indians of the prairies must perish. 

On this same afternoon, a trifling accident went very 
near to mar my sports for the future, besides abridging 
my means of personal defence. I was riding at full 
speed, down a steep hill, after a fat young bull, that was 
only one hundred yards a-head, and as my horse was 
both awkward and weary, I had slung my rifle by a 
leathern belt across my shoulders, in order to have both 
my hands at liberty to guide and support him. In spite 
of these precautions, he put one of his fore-feet into a 
hole and fell head over heels. I rolled some yards far- 
ther than the horse, and was not sorry on getting up to 
find that, with the exception of a few slight bruises, my 

* The classical reader will be interested in being reminded of the 
sinorular resemblance which the details of Indian customs bear to those 
of the Scythians, as described by Herodotus, who notices the " scraping 
the flesh from the skin of the ox with an instrument formed from his 
rib f^ and also the method of "scalping their enemies, and wearing 
the scalp-locks attached to their dress or horses' bits, he that possessed 
the most being esteemed the bravest warrior ;" every word of which 
description is strictly a{)plicable to the Missouri Indians. See " Herod. 
Melpomene,'' cap. 61 — 64. 

t I am not aware that ancient history affords any instance of the 
construction of a bow from the ribs of an animal, but the horns were 
sometimes applied to that purpose. The classical reader is referred to 
Virg. Eclog. X. V. ; ^neid. xi. v. 773 ; Ovid's Met. v. 383 ; Horn. Iliad, 
6. V. 105; and Lycoph. Cassandra, v. .564. The habit of strengthen- 
inff wooden bows wiih the fibres of animals has been observed among 
the Es(|uimaux. See " Ellis's Voyage to Hudson's Bay," p. 138. At 
a later period of my stay in the western country I procured a bow 
similar to the one described in the text, which is still in my possession. 



limbs were all entire ; but my rifle had disappeared, and 
I was almost afraid to look for it, knowing the extreme 
probabiHty of my findintr it broken in half, or otherwise 
irreparably damaged. However, I found it lying on the 
ground not far from me ; the only injury it had sustained 
was the loss of the screws and rivets which had held the 
sling-beh, and which had been broken off by the shock 
of my fall. Altogether I came off much better ihan I 
expected, and returned at a sober pace to the encamp- 
njent, neither I nor my steed being in good plight for any 
more huntincr on that evening. 

After supping heartily on buffalo meat, [roasted not 
raw,) I trimmed my pencil, and wrote the foregoing 
half-dozen pages of journal^ putting to myself the query, 
" When I get back to Fort Leavenworth (if I ever da 
get back there), will they be legible, after the rubbing, 
wetting, and other annoyances, to which they are con- 
stantly liable ?" 

On the iid of August I strolled out with my rifle to 
examine one of the most extraordinary objects* of cu- 
liosity which I had seen in the western prairies, and which 
was only two miles from our camp. I regret on this, as 
on many other occasions, that my ignorance of geology 
and mineralogy renders me unable to give a satisfactory 
description of this spot. From the centre of the plain 
there rises an abrupt and precipitous range of w^hat ap- 
pears at first si^ht to be rock, but which, on nearer 
examination, proves to be a soft crumbhng argillaceous 
substance, intersected by strata of lime and siiells. Along- 
the base of these heights are scaitered a vast profusion 
of stones, much darker in colo\ir than the hill from which 
ihey have evidently fallen. They are of all forms and 
sizes, some as large as a thirty-two pound shot, and others 
no larger than a child's marble ; they are generally round 
or oval, but 1 observed many irregular shapes among 
ihem. They seemed to me as if the principal ingredient 
in their composition was iron, and their surface is entirely 
covered by small, pointed,, and regular projections, like 
the crystallizations in Derby and other spar specimens. 
I determined to carry home (if permitted to carry any- 


tJiins^ borne) a few of the more moderate sized, and to 
submit tbem to tbe exatDinalion of some nreolosist.* 

Tbe beights tbemselves bear every evidence of hav- 
ing projected miicb fartber tban tbey now do into tbe 
plain ; and ibe soft friable substance of wbicb they are 
composed, renders tbem liable to be acted upon by tbe 
elements, especially water or melting snow. Indeed 
they wear away so fast^ that tlie Indians assured me tbey 
vary in form, and in fact recede in some places several 
feet in tbe course of every four or five years ; conse- 
quently there remain, standing in front of them, huge 
masses of the same formation as tbe cliffs themselves, 
which look like the gigantic columns of some mighly 
thoufrh ruined portico. They are of various dimensions 
in diameter, but generally sixty or seventy feet in height ; 
the Indians told me that a few years ago ihey we e much 
higher, and were crowned with buffalo horns, dedicated 
to the Great Spirit.* 

Among these huge broken pillars and in the crevices 
of the main cliff, tbe "temple-loving martlet" 

" Hath made his pendent bed and procreant cradle," 

and plays around them, amid a swarm of twittering and 
wheeling companions, as numerous as those which I 
have seen on a summer evening on tbe banks of tbe 
Thames. But even here tbe winged emigrant is beset 
by dangers, almost as fatal as those which threaten him 
in those crowded haunts where the mischievous school- 
boy practises on him bis maiden fowling-piece ; for I 
found a regiment of Indian boys climbing like monkeys 
among the recesses of the precipice for nests and eggs ; 
while oihers let fly their bird-bolt at any unfortunate mar- 
tin who ventured to alight or rest near bis assaulted 
home. This picturesque and jagged outline of bills only 

* Some of them are round and smooth as grape shot, and the specific 
gravity of all indicates the quantity of iron which they contain. The 
fatigues and accidents of my return-journey prevented my carrying 
any of these specimens back to the United States. 

* Similar offerings to the Great Spirit, or to the Medicine, are occa- 
sionally met with fn various parts of the region between the United 
States' frontier and the Rocky Mountains. 


requires the background of a dark lurid cloud ; and, if 
viewed from a distance, it will need but litlJe stretch of 
the imagination to conceive it to be a magnificent castle, 
fit for the residence of the proudest monarch on earth. 

When I returned to camp, and found all the squaws 
busy in cutting up and spreading the meat to dry, 1 sat 
down in the lodge, and whiled away an hour in reading. 
This occupation, whenever I found lime to indulge in it, 
was evidently considered by the Indians my " great 
medicine ;" for they saw how completely it absorbed my 
attention for the time. Frequently my brother, the son 
of ;^a-ni-isa-rish, would come and lo(ik over my shoul- 
der, and glance his eyes from my face to the book, with 
a mingled expression of curiosity and surprise. I tried 
to explain to him that it " talked to me, and told me of many 
things past, and many far away." Then he would take 
it up, and turn it round and round, looking steadfastly at 
the page ; but he said he could hear nothing and see no- 
thing. I explained to \\',m that my pocket Bible was in- 
deed my *' great medicine," for it was the "talk of the 
Great Spirit." To this he would listen with much gravi- 
ty ; but, alas ! I could not pursue the subject, for when- 
ever I attempted to get beyond objects presented to the 
senses, my stock both of language and signs was ex- 
hausted. My library, on this excursion, was very rich : 
it consisted of four volumes, all of pocket size — the 
Bible, Sophocles, the first half of the Odyssey, and Mil- 

August 4th. — While the men were employed in 
mending, new-heading, and feathering their arrows, and 
others had been sent out to observe the motions of the 
buffalo, the women continued their labours in preparing 
the skins and meat for packing. I again strolled out 
with my rifle, alone, to the abrupt banks abovemenlion- 
ed, in order that I might indulcre freely in the sweet 
ihoui^hts of home which this day suggested — this day 
which gave birth to one of the most exemplary parents 
that ever lived, and which also consummated a union, the 
whole course of which has been marked by peace, mu- 
tual confidence, and inviolate affection. 

Wrapped in these musings, I rambled a mile or two 


beyond the cliffs, and found myself in the strangest 
forination of ground which I had yet seen : it was a con- 
tinnalion of waves, like the Atlantic when angry. These 
ravines are from tl)irty to fifty feet deep, and the same 
in width, and they display tlie same kind of gritty friable 
substratum as the cliffs. They are evidently water- 
courses after heavy rains or the mehing of snow, and pro- 
bably change yearly their breadth, depth, and relative po- 
sition. Riding, or even walking fast, over this portion of 
country, would be impossible. 

While examining this remarkable scene, T observed a 
small herd of eight or ten buffalo, who had retired from 
the chase of yesterday to conceal themselves in this 
natural fastness. Seeing through my telescope that 
there was no cow among them, 1 did not want to kill ; 
but was curious to see how they could get out of the 
dilemma in which they had placed themselves. Accord- 
ingly, I crept towards them, and, appearing suddenly 
and not far off, gave a shout, and pretended to run on 
them. They started at full speed ; and reckless of the 
broken ravines and ridges, they tumbled, rolled, and 
scrambled along, with an activity of which I did not be- 
lieve them capable, snorting and raising clouds of dust 
that marked to a great distance their headlong course. 
After watching them till they were out of sight, I return- 
ed to the encampment, which I reached early in the after- 



Camp moved. — Medicine Council. — Preparation for Hunting. — !Mar- 
tial Appearance of the Chief — his Costume. — The Author's Hunt- 
ing-Dress. — Conversation with the Chief — Equipment of the War- 
riors. — Forced March. — Attack the Herds. — Dangerous Conflict. — 
Sorry Steed. — Unhorsed Indian — A young Bull shot. — A Hunter's 
Meal. — Su.'^picious Intruders. — Perplexing Situation. — A Friend in 
Need. — Return to the Camp. 

August 5. — Moved our camp before four in the 
morning, and without breakfast; an arrangement pecu- 
liarly unpleasant to me, inasmuch as I had gone dinner- 
less and supperless to bed on the preceding evenincr. We 
rode eiglit or nine miles, and then received intelligence 
from the scouts that there were several large herds in 
the neighbourhood. The chiefs accordingly ordered a 
halt of the tents, women, children, and baggage ; and 
having held a great medicine council, at which I attend- 
ed, and at wliich it was formally announced that the 
Great Spirit was favourable, it was determined that there 
was to be a grand chassp. Accordingly, the chiefs, war- 
riors, and braves salHed forth, accompanied by what we 
should call, in the highlands, gillies; that is, younger and 
inferior Indians, who lead a spare horse, and either give 
it to their lord when his own is tired, or cut up and car- 
ry home the victims of his bow and arrow. 

This was the most magnificent preparation for hunting 
that I had yet seen. We marched in three parallel lines; 
the chief of llie Grand Pawnees occupying the from of 
the cenire, from whence he issued, from time to lime, 
the requisite orders. He was surrounded by a select 
body of the principal warriors and medicine-men. With 
the latter he pretended to consult frequently; and the 
whole line was halted until their consultation was ended, 
when it was immediately communicated from front to 
rear by running criers, who shouted in the true loud na- 
sal tone of a villatre bellman. Not a man was allowed 


to leave the ranks; and the discipline seemed as strict 
as among regular troops on a march. Soon the group 
surrounding the great chief advanced a little in front of 
the main body, and I aitached myself to it for two rea- 
sons ; first, I wished to see, and, if possible, to under- 
stand, the arrangements made for the chase ; and, se- 
condly, I was anxioub to ride by the great chief, and to 
endeavour, by making him such civil speeches as my 
limited knowledge of his language, assisted by signs, 
would permit, to do away the grudge which this mali- 
cious, treacherous, and vindictive man seemed to bear 

When I approached, he separated himself from his re- 
tinue, whom he did not wish to have within earshot of 
our conversation, and rode slowly toward me. I could 
not help being struck by his grotesque, yet martial ap- 
pearance, which I will endeavour to describe. He was 
mounted on a light dun or cream-coloured sleed, whose 
long mane and frontlock, wild fiery eye, and light active 
form, showed it to be a child of the Western wilderness. 
Seated in a Mexican peak-saddle, covered with a wolf- 
skin, he seemed a part of the animal which he bestrode ; 
so naturally and firmly were the muscular thighs, wdiich 
his singular dress allowed to be visible, attached to the 
horse's side. 

On his head he wore a kind of turban, made from a 
red-silk shawl, from beneath which his small, sly, rest- 
less eyes peered \v j,h a keen malicious expression ; but 
the most remarkable feature in liis unprepossessing coun- 
tenance was the moutli which, without being large or un- 
derjawed, was strongly indicative of many of the most 
prevalent and dangerous vices of the Indian character. 
No man of ordinary penetration could look at him without 
seeiufj sensuality, falsehood, and the more dark and re- 
vengeful passions, stamped legibly on hij countenance.* 
On his legs he wore the usual deer-skin leggins, and on 

* This chief's character, which I here drew, partly from slight observa- 
tioTi, partly from the iuforraalion of others, proved afterward to answer ex- 
actly to my description. Ilis son, Pae-tae-lae-cha'r6, with whom my 

companion V lodged, was an exact coun'erpart and copy of him, 

except that, in personal proportions and strength, he had greatly the 
advantage over his father. 


his feet braided moccasins, over which were buckled a 
pair of huge old-fasliioued Spanish gilt spurs. In one 
hand he carried a hght single-barrelled fowling-piece. 
His girdle, which was another red-silk shawl, supported 
a long hunting-knife. In his left hand he held the reins 
of a heavy and highly ornamented Spanish bridle, with a 
curved bit, long enough to break the jaw of any horse 
that sfiould venture to pull against it, and which, from 
the gilt stars, chains, and buckles which adorned it, 
seemed to have belonged to the same cavallero of the 
seventeenth century as the spurs which 1 before men- 

All this portion of the chief's costume was picturesque 
and in character, but that upon which he chiefly prided 
himself threw an air of ridicule over the whole (alas ! 
such a failing is to be found annong white as well as red 
men) — I mean, a common, ill-made, cloth coat, with brass 
buttons, which had been brought out from Fort Leaven- 
worth by the deputation with whom I had travelled. A 
lad beside him cairied his bow and arrows, in the use of 
which his dexterity is almost unequalled, and on which 
he relied for victory, whether over biped or quadruped 
foes ; the gun which he carried being used, like his coat, 
for show, not use, and both cast away when the chase- 
signal or the war-cry was given. 

Such was the chief to whom I now doffed my hat with 
the usual salutation. We must have been an excellent 
pair, if he could only give to the public as faithful a de- 
scription of me as I have of him. I will endeavour to 
do it myself, as im[)artially as I can. I was mounted on 
m\ favourite sorrel ;* and she, at least, could bear com- 
parison with the chiefs steed in swiftness, strength, and 
endurance, and was very superior in docility and gentle- 
ness : on my head was a broad-brimmed low-crowned 
hat, which, from having often performed the double of- 
fice of pillow and night-cap by night, and of umbrella by 
day, was almost indescribable in respect to form ; a blue 
shirt, and a black velveteen shooting-jacket with enor- 
mous pockets, stuffed full of a strange miscellany of re- 

* la England called roan. 


quisites, ciDvered/niy upper man ; I wore neither neck- 
cloth, braces, nor waistcoat; round my waist was a 
strong leather belt, in which were stuck my hunting- 
knife, and a brace of pistols in front, and at the side, a 
short heavy iron-handled cnt-and-lhrust sword, such as 
is sometimes used in Germany in a boar-hunt, and nearly 
resembling the old Roman sword ; my nether extremi- 
ties were protected by a pair of stout corderoy breeches 
and buckskin leggins, all fitting close to the leg; and in 
my right hand was my faithful double-barrelled rifle. I 
ought to add, that my visage was tanned nearly of an In- 
dian colour, and was ornamented or disfigured by a pair 
of long mustaches. 

Such were the two persons who now met to hold con- 
ference between the Pawnee lines. I saw at once that 
the chief was vexed and displeased ^ so, after two or 
three brief remarks respecting the fineness of the day, 
.and the abundant marks of buffalo in the prairie, I held 
my peace, and waited for him to break the ice after his 
own fashion. It was not long before he did so, by 
abruptly remarking, " It is not good that the Nesliada-ta- 
ka (the wliite chief) docs not visit the lodge of the grand 
chief." I told him, as well as I could, that 1 had travel- 
Jed with Sa-ni-tsa-rish from the white men's country- — 
that he was good to me — that he was my father, and that 
it would not be good for me to leave his lodge. He re- 
turned to the charge more warmly, saying, "that I was 
a great white chief, and a friend of his grandfather, (mean- 
ing the President of the United States.) That I ca"me 
to smoke the pipe and to hunt with the Pawnees, and 
that he was the great chief, and that it was an insult to 
him not to live in his lodge." I repeated again that " i 
had travelled many days with Sa-ni-tsa-rish before I had 

see?! him — that my companion V had come with his 

son,.Pa^-tae-la^-cha'rd, and therefore remained with him ; 
and that, after eating and sleeping so long in the lodges 
of our hosts, it would not be right to leave them." 

Unfortunately, I here touched upon another cord which 
jarred upon the chief's feelings, by alluding to his son, 
with whom, as I afterward learned, he was by no means 
upon a friendly fooling. My explanation only extracted 

Vol. L— Z 


an " ugh ;" and he soon left me, with a countenance at 
least as dark and ill-humoured as when he joined me. 
When he galloped again to the head of his retinue, I 
could not help admiring the picturesque and warlike ap- 
pearance of the warriors around him. Some of these 
were dressed in buffalo-robes, gorgeously painted ; tw^o 
or three of the principal warriors (who had belonged to 
the deputation sent to Fort Leavenworth) had been pre- 
sented with common English round hats ; these they 
had stuck on their heads, stiJl enveloped in the brown 
paper and string in which they had been wrapt up in the 
store, and which they considered " great m.edicine :" it 
was scarcely possible to restrain a smile on seeing a dig- 
nified Indian thus accoutred. Others w^ore blankets, 
blue or white, which hung in negligent folds, or floated 
gracefully in the wind, according to the speed at wdiich 
the rider moved ; others again, of the younger chiefs, 
were attired in the extreme of Pawnee dandyism, in scar- 
let cloth, with beads on their arms and necks, and all 
their bridles glittering and jingling with ornaments ; 
while others remained entirely naked, displaying as they 
rode the faultless proportion of their limbs, and, to the 
e3^e of taste, were more gloriously equipped, as they 
thus came from thelitfnd of the Creator, than their mot- 
ley and fantastic biethren, whom I have before described. 
These naked hunters had all a belt round the waist, 
from which hung a small cloth, or kerchief, and in the 
folds of the belt were concealed their knife, tobacco, 
tinder, and flint, and the other trifles which an Indian 
always has with him. On their back was the quiver, 
every arrow in which was carefully examined and new- 
ly-pointed ;* in their right hand the bow, and in their 
left hand the simple thong or laryelie, which was used 
instead of a bridle ; some had saddles, but the greater 
part of them only interposed a strip of bufl'alo's hide be- 
tween the person and the horse. 

*■ It is well known to all travellers who have visited the Indians of the 
West, that they have two kinds of arrows, one for hunting, the other 
for war. The former has a head formed like the point of an ordinary 
lance, or sometimes an isosceles triangle, with a very narrow base ; the 
latter is barbed like the point of a fish-hook, obviously that a wounded 
enemy may not be able to extract it. 


We rode many miles in this manner, making occasional 
halts, ^vhen the great chief received the reports of the 
scouts ; and, according to their tenom', sent his procla- 
mations along the line. At length, orders were given 
to advance at a gallop, but to keep our ranks, none being 
allowed to go in front of the chiefs, or beyond a certain 
distance on the flanks, under pain of a severe flogging ; 
a penalty which the soldiers are by no means remiss in 
inflicting.* The bufl'alo were still at a distance, and we 
had as yet seen none ; but we continued our rapid march 
for above an hour : and here I could not but admire the 
activity and endurance of these savage hunters : the day 
was intolerably hot, and there was scarcely a breath of 
air to temper the rays of a burning sun. 

It was now two or three o'clock ; we had been in the 
saddle, without rest or food, since four in the morning, and. 
were making a forced march, which kept the horses at a 
short canter, or round trot, of eight miles an hour ; yet did 
numbers of these Pawnees vault off" their horses, and run 
by the side of them, in order that they might be fresh and 
ready as soon as the bufl'alo should be in sight. My 
good steed showed some signs of weariness and exhaus- 
tion from the extreme heat ; and as 1 was determined to 
keep her in order for what might befall me on my return, 
I dismounted, very reluctantly, and mounted a small 
half-broke Indian horse, which my old chief sometimes 
lent to me. This carefulness of my roan nearly cost 
me my life, as will soon appear. 

At length a momentary halt was given, and a hurried 
proclamation issued, that the " men must be ready." 
We were drawn up on the side of a hill, below which 
was a valley of no great depth, and on the other side 
another hill, intersected by many ravines, down each 
of v/hich a black living torrent was pouring into the 
valley. In fact, a large body of Indians had been sent 
round to head them ; a manoeuvre which they had suc- 
cessfully executed, and they were already plying their 
fatal arrows amoncr the rear herds. A dreadful shout, 


* On one occasion a younger son of Sa-ni tsa rish received a severe 
whipping for hunting, and bringing us some buffalo meat, contrary to 
the orders of the day. 


or yell was now raised, and we rushed down to meet 
them, every man striving to be the first to reach the devo* 
ted band. As soon as tiiey became aware of these new 
foes in their front, they seemed to forget all their usual 
habits of following a particular track or leader, and gal- 
lopped in any direction to which chance or terror drove 
ihem. It was, indeed, one of the most picturesque 
sights I ever beheld, to see these hairy monsters rushing 
with headlong speed down the declivities, snorting, 
bellowing, and regardless of shouts or arrows ; some 
rolling over lifeless under the shafts of their merciless 
persecutors; some standing still, w'nh erect tail, blooa- 
shot eye, and nostrils frothed with blood, waiting in vain 
for the crafty enemy to approach within reach of their 
dying rush ; and others breaking through all opposition, 
and studding the most distant part of the landscape with 
black specks, which gradually diminished, and were at 
length lost to view. 

Alas ! I had more leisure for examining this prospect 
than was altogether agreeable to me as a hunter ; for I 
was soon aware that the animal on which I was now 
mounted had neither speed nor strength to carry me 
among the foremost ranks. The cows are, as I have be- 
fore remarked, so much more tender at this season, and 
so much more fleet than the bulls, that they were the 
chief object of pursuit, and w^ere soon driven, by the 
best mounted Indians, far beyond my reach. Still I kept 
gallopping on, in the hope that some fortunate accident 
might throw me in the way of one which had been over- 
looked. At length I saw a cow at the distance of some 
hundred yards. She was running pretty fast, and appa- 
rently unhurt; but, on coming up to her, I observed an 
arrow sticking in her flank. The wound did not seem 
serious ; but, if I had killed her, I should have been 
obliged to give her meat and skin up to the fellow who 
shot that arraw ; so I left her to her fate, and determined 
to wage war with some of tlie lords of the buftalo race. 
Accordingly, I rode toward the first whom Fate threw 
in my way : and he seemed by no means inclined to 
hurry his pace, or to change the direction in which he 
was lazily cantering along. He was indeed a raagniE- 


cent bull, of the very largest size, and had the thickest 
fell of hair that I had seen in the prairie. When I cancie 
within fifty yards on his right flank, I rode on in a paral- 
lel line, not choosing to trust my small and uncertain 
horse too near to my dangerous neighbour ; but whene- 
ver I raised my rifle to shoot, the fractious animal jumped 
and sprang aside, so that it was impossible to take a sure 
aim. After making several fruitless endeavours to fire 
from his back, I dismounted, and throwing the bridle over 
mv left arm, took a deliberate aim at the bull as he can- 
tered past me, at about the same distance of fifty yards. 
The ball struck a few mches behind the heart, bu^ did not 
touch it ; one moment he paused, as I thought, about to 
fall, but it was only to glare his eye fiercely upon me, 
lash his tail, and then to charge me at full speed. Il 
may be beheved that I was not long in jumping on my 
hoTse, and burying the spurs in his flanks ; but so wearied 
or slow was he, that before he got into a gallop, the bull 
was within a few yards of me. 

And now began a race which was run with as hearty 
good will of the contending parties (at least I can an- 
swer for one of them), as any trial of speed on earth 
since poor Hector fled round the walls of Troy. It 
would have been madness to expend my last bullet in a 
random shot, so I reserved it for a mortal struggle in 
case my horse and I should be overthrown ; and, in the 
meantime, urged him with hand, leg, and spur, to his 
utmost exertions. Indeed, he required little pressing ; 
for terror lent him wings. Whether any feelings of a 
similar nature occupied his rider, I do not feel called 
upon to state, as I am not at confession ; but, for a dis- 
tance between seventy and a hundred yards, I knew not 
how the race would terminate. I looked over my right 
shoulder, and his thundering hoofs, glaring eyes, and 
nostrils throwing out bloody froth, were close at my 
horse's flank. However, I could soon perceive that, 
from his unwieldy size, and the severe wound I had 
given him, he was failing in strength ; and, accordingly, 
pressed my little horse to place me yet farther out of his 
reach. As soon as he saw that his efforts at revenge 
had failed, he stopped short, stamped, blew, bellowed, 



and made all ihe most furious gestures of rage and pain. 
Wiien I was again about fifty yards fronfi him, I pulled 
up, and determined to wait two or three minutes, very 
prudently reflecting, that, in the meantime my horse was 
recovering breath, while my enemy was bleeding and 
exhausting himself by empty demonstrations of fury. 
As soon as I thought my horse ready for a new race, if 
necessary, I again dismounted, and fired with better aim 
and eflfect. Th-e bull staggered a few paces, and rolled 
in the dust. 

I was not sorry to se-e him fall ; for I felt no confi- 
dence in my horse, and was not by any means sure that 
the next race, if I had been obliged to run another, would 
have terminated so fortunately, indeed, I h^d been 
guilty of gross imprudence in dismounting so near to 
him, while his tail had that peculiar curve and elevation 
■which tlie Indians call " the mad tail." T had received 
>\arning on the subject^ but do not remember whether I 
have before noted it down, that the buffalo, when ga)- 
iopping in flight, carries his tail like that of ordinary cat- 
tle ; Vrhen wounded, or at bay, he often lashes it, or car- 
ries it over his back ; but when mad, or in that mood 
which induces him to attack anything within his reach, he 
carries it nearly hiorizontal, with a slight curve in the mid- 
dle, like some of the lions in coats-of-arms. Such had 
been the case with my late opponent ; and, with so sorry a 
steed, I ought to have kept at a more respectful distance. 
Having given him the coup de grace with my hunting- 
knife, I fortunately saw two Indians, of inferior rank, 
with a horse, and, calling to them, told them to cut up 
and carry the meat to the tent of Sa-ni-tsa-rish, and to 
keep what they chose for themselves. This latter por- 
tion of my instructions they obeyed more faithfully than 
the former ; for they kept it all, and took none to my old 
chief. In truth, I was not very anxious about it, as the 
flesh of this veteran was, probably, as coarse and tough 
as that of a rhinoceros. 

My nag being now refreshed by half an hour's rest 
and grazing, I set off* in quest of new adventures, and 
had not proceeded far before I perceived a dismounted 
Indian, whose horse was ripped up by a buffalo. I has- 


lened forward, and killed the savage animal, which was 
still goring and stamping on its unhappy victim. On 
approaching the unhorsed cavalier, 1 recognized my 
friend lotanj the chief of the Oloes. He knew three 
words of English, and said, " Very good ; very good ; 
ihankie." Be then pointed to his thigh, the whole length 
of which the buffalo's horn had grazed, without entering, 
and said in Pawnee, ''Not good; not good."* I saw 
that he was a good deal bruised, and offered him my 
horse ; but he laughed, and declined it, beginning at the 
same time to cut up the quarry. One of his Otoe men 
coming up, I left them together, and proceeded on my 
w^ay, congratulating myself upon having escaped better, 
than the chief, who lost his horse, and had to walk back, 
to camp. 

As 1 trotted over the plain, I began to feel the crav- 
ings of hunger almost to a painful degree, which is not 
to be w^ondered at, as I had been twelve hours in hard 
exercise, without rest, and had eaten nothing on the pre- 
ceding day. After riding a few miles farther, I saw a 
small herd : upon giving chase, a young bull fell behii?d 
the rest, being so fat that he could not keep up with 
them. After running them a considerable distance, we 
came to a very narrow steep ravine ; and as 1 saw the 
leaders cross directly up the opposite side, I knew thai 
th-e fat gentleman would follow them as well as he was 
able. Accordingly, I dismounted, examined my caps, 
and prepared for a comfortable shot. When all the rest 
had disappeared over the opposite brow, he toiled lazily 
up the ascent. As soon as he was exactly in the place 
where I wished him to be, and not more than forty yards 
off, r fired. He turned instantly, gave me a fierce look, 
and began to run straight toward me : but the ball had 
been too true ; he required no second, and rolled dead 
into the ravine belcw. 

I now hobbled my horse, took off my jacket, tucked 
up my sleeves, drew my knife, and prepared to make my 
coup \Vessai as a butcher. Previously to eating my sa- 
vage and solitary meal, T looked around. There Vv^as not 
a human being in sight to assist me in turning over the 

*Ka-ko6-ra-he, a word compounded of ka ki, ' not,' and to6-ra-he, 'good,' 

272 A hunter's meal, 

body, which is hard work for two ordinary men, but im- 
possible for one : so I was obliged to content myself 
with skinning only one side. My knife was not very 
sharp, and those only who have seen and proved the 
skin of this hairy monster can judge of the labour of the 
task. After an hour's unren:iiiting work, I succeeded, 
and then went on to open the body. Without much dif- 
ficulty I got at the liver, and began to eat, certainly more 
like a wolf, or Indian, than a Christian man. After de- 
vouring several large morsels, I saw a hunter coming 
toward me at full speed. He had been unsuccessful, 
and was hungry. I was nearly choked with thirst, and, 
as soon as he arrived, made him signs, that if he would 
fetch me water, I would give him as much to eat as he 
chose. He nodded assent. We then took out the blad- 
der of the buffalo ; I told him to wash it well, and bring 
it back full of clear water. He went off at a gallop, 
and, in about a quarter of an hour, came back, having 
executed his commission. I cannot say that the watee 
was quite crystal \ but I never enjoyed a more delicious 
meal than this raw liver, and the water, such as it was. 
The Indian, also, showed me two or three other morsels, 
which I found excellent ; and I strongly recommend to 
any gentleman who may ever find himself similarly situ- 
ated, to break a bone, and suck the marrow.* 

W^hen he had satisfied his hunger, my new ally made 
me signs that he was on an errand for one of the chiefs^ 
and must hasten away. Having told him that he might 
go, and seen him depart, I turned again to my dissecting 
operations ; but, ere long, was once more interrupted by 
the arrival on the spot of two young men, mounted. I 
did not know either of them ; neither did I much like 
their appearance. I strongly suspect that they belong- 
ed to the Republique Band, who are always the most 
mischievous and dangerous Indians in the nation.' 

As we were so far remote from all observation, I 
thought it better to place my rifle (in which there was 

* I hope the indulgent reader will remember that I had eaten nothing 
for forty-eight hours, and that the cravings of hunger had rendered me 
almost mad. I have since shuddered at the wolfish sensations which I 
remember to have experienced that day. 


one ball), in a position where I could readily snatch it 
up ; and, with a loaded pistol in my belt, I stooped over 
the buffalo, as if intent upon it, but actually watching 
ihem. When they came up, and had given the usual 
salutation, they examined the meat, said it was very 
good, and offered to help me in cutting it up, if I would 
make them a present. This seasonable assistance was 
not to be refused ; so I told then:i, if they would do so, 
and assist me to place it on my hoise, I would give one 
of them a knife, and the other, one or two papers of 

They seemed satisfied, and proceeded to cut away 
industriously for a few minutes ; and I must confess 
with skill so superior to mine, that they did more in that 
time than I could do in half an hour. However, they 
soon slopped ; and one said he must have my knife, the 
other that he wanted a trifle that was hanging by a silk 
chain round my neck. I told them no, — they should 
have what I originally promised. They seemed very 
angry at this, and said they would cut no more. I told 
them, " it was very good, they might ride on." One then 
approached, and was proceeding to place on his horse 
the meat that he and his companion had cut, while the 
latter sneaked round the buffalo, and began to paw and 
handle the butt-end of the rifle. I did not like the pro- 
ceedings of these two ill-looking rascals, nor the glances 
which they exchanged with each other, and not wishing 
to trust them too far, took up my rifle, and told them 
gravely that the meat was mine, and they should not take 
it away, but if they were willing to cut it up, that I would 
make them the presents I had promised. They said 
very angrily they would cut no more. I then sat down 
quietly by the buffalo, examined the cap of my pistol, 
and told them they had better go to the camp ; they 
muttered a few words together, which I did not under- 
stand, and rode ofl". 

I then collected all the meat which I and they had cut, 
and stripping the hide into thongs, strung the masses of 
flesh, amounting to about a hundred weight, upon them, 
in the usual Indian fashion, including the tongue, heart, 
fat, and what remained of the liver. 1 had not my com- 


pass with me, and after the circles and deviations which 
I had njade in the course of the chase, it was by no means 
easy to find either the distance or direction of the camp, 
especially as ihe great chief had sent back messengers 
after the hunt began, ordering them to move their en- 
campment to the banks of some streamlet indicated to 
them, but totally unknown to me. However, I knew it 
must be somewhere between north and east ; I had watch- 
ed the Indians who had left me ; and putting these two 
sources of information together, I made up my mind as 
to the course I would steer, and having un-hobbled my 
horse, proceeded to sling the meat over his back. 

He stood perfectly quiet till I had put on all but the 
last and heaviest sling of flesh, this required both my 
hands, and just as I threw it over his back, the restive 
animal reared up, struck me on the head, knocked me 
down, and gallopped off. Not being hurt, I jumped up, 
and saw him kicking, leaping, and flinging, till he had 
scattered all my hard-earned meat over the prairie, then 
he cantered leisurely down the valley after the Indians 
who had left me. Though he v/as not an Eclipse, I could 
not hope to overtake him on foot ; so I walked about, and 
collected together all the disjecta membra which had al- 
ready cost me so much trouble, and forming them into a 
heap, sat down to ruminate. 

My case seemed this. The camp was moved I knew 
not whither, but certainly was at some distance. I was 
alone, and out of hail of all assistance ; nay, I could see 
the two scoundrels who had left me, driving my horse 
far away, instead of endeavouring to catch him for me, 
and I made an internal resolution to reward them as they 
deserved, if ever the}^ gave me an opportunity ; I had 
also before me the prospect of a long walk in oppressively 
hot weather, added to the uncertainty of finding the camp, 
whither I was obliged to devise some means of car- 
rying my rifle, my pistols, my large thick shooting-jacket, 
and my hundred weight of meat. 

From this prospect I turned to my actual state, sitting, 
as I was, on the ground, with my hands, arms, and face 
saturated and glued w^ilh blood ; it was indeed, too much, 
and I burst into an uncontrollable fit of lauduer. I then 


began to think of the strange and varied notions of plea- 
sure entertained by different men, and could not help 
questioning whether my Pawnee trip, voluntarily incur- 
red, with its accompaniments, did not render the sanity 
of my mind a matter of some doubt. 

I\Iy musings were interrupted by seeing an Indian ap- 
pear on the opposite heights, and ride along them to- 
ward the camp. I made signals, and shouted for him 
to come toward me ; he did so ; and, on his near ap- 
proach, I saw that his horse was laden with meat, and 
that he was a fellow of a fine, open, bold expression of 
countenance. I told him my tale in brief; and when I 
described to him how the two young men had frightened 
away instead of catching and restoring my horse, he 
frowned and said, they were " bad men ;" and with- 
out another word, threw all the meat from his horse, and 
galloped off in pursuit. I wondered how he had so 
readily understood my broken Pawnee ; but I suppose 
that in this, as in every other case, distress and earnest- 
ness produced eloquence ! 

In half an hour he returned, bringing with him my truant 
steed. I thanked him by gestures, (for in their language 
there is no word for " thank you,") but he seemed to un- 
derstand me, for he smiled and appeared in very good 
humour. I assisted him to load his horse, and he per- 
formed the same office for me ; as both steeds were 
weary, I only added the weight of my jacket to the 
meat, threw the bridle on my arm, shouldered my rifle, 
and walked by the side of my good-natured companion ; 
here I amused myself by prosecuting my studies in his 

After we had walked four or five miles, we overtook 
an Indian crawling along by the side of his horse, at a 
pace which showed one or both to be nearly disabled. 
On coming close to them we found tliat they had been 
both overthrown by a bull ; the man had escaped with 
a few severe bruises, but the poor animal had two deep 
gashes in his hams into which I could have thrust my 
hands. I endeavoured to persuade him to let me put it 
out of pain ; but he insisted upon dragging it on towards 
the camp, which, however, it never reached. 


As my companion had not asked for any reward for 
bis trouble or assistance, I was the more anxious to give 
him one, and, having nothing about me, I desired him as 
soon as we should reach the camp to come to my lodge, 
and I would give him some tobacco, rouge, &c. He 
said, it was " very good, but he could not come to night, 
as his tent was far, but ^e would come in the morning," 
After three hours' brisk walking we came in sight of 
the^ fires, shook hands and parted, as his lodge was to 
the east, and I knew mine must be to the west of the en- 

When I arrived before Sa-ni-tsa-rish's lodge with my 
nag thus laden, the chief's wives and daugliters came 
out to look after the horse and meat ; and while they 
were unloading, I walked in and sat down with the dig- 
nified gravity of a mandarin. This was easier to assume 
than it was to maintain, for the squaws interchanged 
most comic glances in silence while they unpacked the 
meat, and saw the uncouth and strange nature of the white 
chief's butchery; for, as I had been unable to cut up 
the whole animal, I had merely picked out the largest 
masses of solid meat and fat, the forms and shapes of 
which were of the most fantastic and irregular descrip- 
tion. I hope they thought it was done according to the 
white man's medicine ; at all events, it would tend to 
raise me in their estimation, to see that I could bring 
home, as well as kill, buffalo meat. 



Medicine Ceremonies. — Instance of ungovernable Temper and Cruelty 
in a young Indian.— Indian Horse-dealers. — Bargaining anecdotes. 
— Hiring a Guide. — Knavery of the Great Chief — Huntlncr Party of 
Delawares and Shawnees. — Conversation withthpm. — Dishke of the 
Pawnees to their new Guests— Pride of the Delawares. — Unequal 
Conflict. — Skilful Retreat. — Delaware and Shawnee Languages. — 
Departure of the Visiters. 

I LEVRNED that in the biinl already described, a o-ood 
many Indians had been bruised or wounded, and several 
horses killed. Among ihos'^ who were hurt, was a chief 
of some distinction; he had a few ribs and one of his 
arms broken. The seuingr of this last, together with the 
completion of his wound-dressing, was to be accompa- 
nied with much ceremony, so I determined to be a spec- 
tator. I went accordingly to his lodge, where a great 
crowd was already assembled, and with some difficulty 
made my way through to the inner circle. Not being 
quite sure that I was permitted to see these mysteries, 
and being fully aware of the danger of breaking, even 
unintentionally, any of their medicine-rules, I kept myself 
as quiet and unobserved as possible. Before the lodge, 
and in the centre of the semicircle, sat, or rather reclined, 
the wounded man, supported by one or two packs of 
skins, and on each side of him a row of his kindred ; the 
elder warriors occupied the front, the younger the second 
places, and behind them, close to the lodge, were the 
boys, squaws, &c. 

A profound silence was observed ; and when all the 
medicine-men and relaiivee had arrived and taken their 
seats, a great medicine-pipe was brought and passed 
round, with the usual ceremonial observances of a certain 
number of whiffs to the Earth, the FJuffalo Spirit, and 
the (jlreat Spirit; the pipe was not handed to the 
wounded man, probably because he was supposed to be 
for the time under the influence of a bad spirit, and ihere- 

VOL. I.— Aa 


fore not entitled to the privileges of the medicine. When 
this smoking ceremony was conchided, three or four of 
the doctors or conjurors, and a few of ihe great medicine- 
men, assembled round him ; the former proceeded to 
feel his side and apply some remedy to it ; while one of 
them set the arm, and bound it very strongly round with 
leather and thongs. During this operation, the medi- 
cine-men stooped' over him, and went through sundry 
mummeries which I could not accurately distinguish. 

As soon as the bandages and dressings were completed, 
they began a medicine-dance around him. At first the 
movement was slow, and accompanied by the low ordi- 
nary chant ; but gradually both acqun*ed violence and 
rapidity, till at length ihey reached the height of fury ai.d 
frenzy. They swung their tomahawks round the head 
of the wounded man, rushed upon him with the most 
dreadful yells, shook the weapons violently in his face, 
jumped repeatedly over him, pretending each time to give 
him the fatal blow, then checking it as it descended ; and, 
while once or twice I saw them push and kick his limbs, 
one of the most excited siruck him several very severe 
blows on the breast. On inquiry, I learned that all these 
gesticulations were intended to threaten and banish the 
i'ivil Spirit, w-hich was supposed to have possessed him. 
"While this was going on, a complete silence reigned 
throughout the crowd, none being permitted to dance or 
yell except those actually engaged in the medicine- 

On the morning of the 6th we moved our camp a few 
miles southward, and could now see, at a great distance, 
the verdant fringe of limber which marked the course of 
the upper waters of the Arkansas. Here I had an op- 
portunity of remarking the strange materials of which an 
Indian's temper is composed, and wliich it is necessary 
for a white man resident among them, who has any re- 
gard for his life, to watch and study carefully. The 
lodges were all packed, the curved poles trailing behind 
the mules, and the busy squaws adjusting, with their 
usual chattering, scolding, and active bustle, the loads 
of the different animals, when one of the younger lads 
brought to the son of ISa-ni-tsa-rish his favourite buffalo 


horse, which he was going to ride (contrary to custom) 
on the march. 

I have before described this young man as a great 
Pawnee dandy ; we had hunted antelope and elk several 
times together, and I always considered him very quiet 
and good-tempered; he used to call me his brother; and 
while we were going to or returning from a hunt, would 
teach me Pawnee words and phrases. He was now 
holding in his hand a kind of Mexican bridle, which he 
wished to put over the head of his horse ; but the latter, 
a fine half-broke animal, backed, andxwould not-let him 
approach. With the foolish violence common among 
Indians on such occasions, he stood directly before it 
hauling hard upon the laryelte(or halter) : of course, this 
made the animal pull against hun, and back still farther; 
when, with a sudden movement of rage, he drew his 
scalp-knife, sprang at the horse like a tiger, and buried 
the knife in its eye ! 

The old chief was standing by, looking on with the im- 
perturbable nerves of an Indian : he neither spoke a 
word nor moved a muscle, because the young man was 
grown up, and was among the warriors of the tribe ; but 
1 could not resist saying to the former, " That was not 
good." He answered, gravely, " No." I then turned to 
observe the son. As soon as he became sensible of what 
he had done in a moment of passion, he was vexed and 
ashanred, but too haughty to show it ; and, walking to a 
spot about twenty yards' distant, and throwing his scarlet 
blanket over his shoulder, he drew himself up to his full 
height, and there stood a motionless statue. The camp 
moved on, and long after the last straggler had left the 
place, I saw him standing in the same attitude and on 
the same spot. The poor horse was led off by one of 
the boys ; and, as I saw tiie heavy drops of blood " cours- 
ing each other down his innocent nose," during all the 
march of that day, while the hanfjing head, the flapping 
ears, and the trailing limbs, showed the acuteness of his 
sufferings, I wished to terminate them by putting a mus- 
ket-ball through his head ; but it would not have been 
prudent to ask permission so to do — and I went on my 
way, sickened with disgust at the ungoverned passions 


and cruelty of the young chief. He felt, however, 
though he would not display them, boih sorrow and 
shame ; for he kept aloof from the band all day, and 
never afterward alluded to the circumstnnce. 

I now began to bargain in earnest for horses where- 
with to return to the fort ; for we required three or four, 
and our remaining articles of exchange were scarcely 
sufficient to procure ihem. Certainly 1 never, even 
among horse-dealers, met with such impudent cheats and 
extortioners as my Pawnee friends. They knew that I 
must buy horses, and determined to have their own price. 

After looking at and rejecting two or three scarecrow 
animals which were brought for me to examine, one of 
which was lame, another blind and broken-winded, and 
another twenty-five years old, I determined to adopt the 
advice of my old chief, which was to spread out my 
stores before his lodge, setting apart the exact quantity 
which J meant to offer for one horse ; and then to send 
the heralds through the village to cry aloud that the 
white chief wanted horses, and was willing to trade. I 
also sent for the half-French interpreter, in case any ex- 
planation being required ; although perfectly aware that 
in driving bargains he would lake part with the Pawnees, 
and not with me* Accordingly, a good many were 
brought for me to inspect. Some I rejected at once, 
others I jumped upon and rode for one or two hundred 
yards ; at length I found one which was neither lame, 
blind, nor very old, and bought it, after much disputing 
on both sides, for three blankets, and the usual accompa- 
niments of knives, powder, lead, beads, &ic. 

About this time the great chief came to pay me a visit. 
I gave him some coffee, of which a little of my original 
stock remained (and of which the Indian agent had also 

* I have t)efore mentioned that this interpreter was an Indian in tastes, 
habits, language, and appearance, thousli he called himself a French 
Canadian. lie had two squaws and a number of children. I know not 
how many years he had resided among the Pawnees ; but whenever he 
tried to explain anything respecting them to me in French, he always 
called them " Les Sauvages." He was known among them by the 
name of I-sha-pa, which was, I believe, a corruption of La Chapelle. H» 
lived with the Kepublican Band ; and I rarely saw him, except when I 
aent for him on some such occasion as the present. 


sent him some as a present, he being the only Pawnee 
who ever had such a luxury in his lodge); and having 
then filled a pipe of Kinnekineck and presented it to him, 
I wailed in silence till he should think fit to explain the 
object of his visii. At last he said, " A-ieos 
ka-hi-te-na a-lusha !" — *' My father, you want a liorse ?" 
To this polite address from a man forty years my senior, 
I answered by a sign of assent: but added, partly in 
words and partly in signs, that I had not articles suffi- 
cient, eitlier in number or quality, to make him an equi- 
valent pre^e/z^ for a horse, 'j'his I said, because I knew 
that the old rogue had more blankets, paints, beads, &c., 
already than ten horses could carry. However, he re- 
plied that, if I would give him the "medicine-tube" 
hanging round my neck, he would give me a horse for it. 

Tliis was my favourite pocket-telescope, which I had 
used in deer-huntins; in Scotland and on the Alleohanies, 
and with which I was unwiHing to part, as it was very 
useful in these extensive prairies for descrying men or 
bufTalo at a distance, But poverty and necessity are 
stern advisers : besides wfiich, I knew that it was against 
all rules among In;Jians to refuse an article which they 
have directly asked for; so, with as willing and good 
a grace as I could assume, I undid the belt, and telling 
him that he was my father and a great chief, and that I 
felt sure he would give me a horse fit to overtake men 
or buffalo, I hung the -telescope round his neck, and 
endeavoured to teach him how to lengthen and shorten it 
in order to get the rii^ht focus, and also how to wipe the 
glasses when they might get dirty. At .the- same time, I 
told him not to open it much, for it was *' not good so to 

He looked for some time at the telescope, and then at 
a pistol which was stuck in my belt, and seemed to hesi- 
tate which he liked best. He said that they were both 
"good," and that he would give me a horse for either of 
them. H td the weapon been my own, and had I been 
provided witli one or two spare pistols, I would certainly 
have preferred givina him that to giving him my tele- 
scope ; but it belonfjed to an officer at Fort Leavenworth, 
who had very obligingly lent it to me ; and, beside it, I 


had only a pair of little pistols, sometimes called, in Lon- 
don slang, " bull-dogs." I endeavoured to explain to hinfi 
that it belonged to anolher while chief, and thai I could 
not give it away ; but that my telescope was " greater 
medicine" (more valuable), and thai he was welcome 
to it. He said, " It is good ;" and rising up, he left Qie, 
with as cornplacent and satisfied an expression on his 
countenance as its habitual grim cunning would admit. 

Soon after he was gone, one of the warriors came and 
told me he would give me a horse, if I would give him 
my " long blanket." This was, indeed, a severe trial of 
my affection for my highland plaid, for the price offered 
was certainly (considering my present necessities) be- 
yond the value of the article ; but then, it was my own 
family tartan — had been my companion and protector 
in many a rough day, and was a constant and consoling 
reminiscence of home, so I determined to part with any- 
thing and everything rather than that. I told him it was 
mv " medicine-blanket," and I could not give it away. 
He left me, not well pleased ; and as he walked off, my 
old chief shook his head, and, in answer to my inquir}^, 
said briefly, " He is a bad man, and has no horse :" mean- 
ing in other words, that he was a rogue, who would have 
found some means of absconding with my plaid, and 
who had no horse to give me. 

Soon after this, whde I was still sitting near my packs 
of goods, like an Israelite in Monmouth-sireet, an elderly 
chief approached, and signified his wish to trade. Our 
squaws placed some meat before him, after which I 
gave him the pipe ; and in the meantime had desired my 
servant to search my saddle-bags, and to add to the heap 
of saleable articles everything of every kind beyond 
what was absolutely necessary for mv covering on my 
return. A spare shirt, handkerchief, and a waistcoat, were 
thus drafted ; and, among other things, was a kind of 
elastic flannel waistcoat, made for wearing next to the 
skin, and to be drawn ov©r the head, as il was without 
buttons or any opening in front. It was too small for 
me, and altogether so tight and uncomfortable, although 
elastic, thai I had determined to part with it. 

To this last article my new customer look a great 


fancy; and he made me describe lo him the method of 
putting it on, and the warmth and comfort of it when 
on. Be it remetribered that he was a very large corpu- 
lent man, probably weighing sixteen stone; I knew him 
to be very good-»iatured, as I had liunted once with his 
son ; and, on returnmg lo his lodge, ihe father had feasted 
me, chatted with me by signs, and taught me some of 
that most extraordinary Indian method of communica- 
tion. He said he should like to try on the jacket ; and 
as he threw the buffalo robe off his huge shoulders, I 
could scarcely keep my gravity, when I compared their 
dimensions with liie garment into which we were about 
to attempt their mlroduction. However, by dint of great 
industry and care, we contrived to get him into it. In 
the body it was a foot too short, and fitted him so close 
that every ttiread was stretched to the uttermost ; the 
sleeves reached a very little way below his elbow. 
However, he looked upon his arms and person with great 
complacency, and elicited many smiles from the squaws 
at tfie drollery of his attire; but, as the weather was 
very hot, he soon benan to find himself too warm and 
confined, and he wished to lake it off again. He moved 
his arms — he pulled the sleeves — he twisted and turned 
himself in every direction, but in vain. The woollen 
jacket was an admirable illustration of the Inferno of 
Dante and Virgil, and of matrimony, as described by 
many poets — it was easy enough to get into it, sed revp- 
care gradum was a difficult matter indeed. The old 
man exerted himself till the drops of perspiration fell 
from his forehead ; but had I not been there he must 
either have made some person cut it up, or have sat in 
it until this minute. 

For some time I enjoyed this scene with malicious 
and demure gravity, and then I showed him that he 
must try and pull it off over his head. A lad who stood 
by then drew it till it enveloped his nose, eyes, mouth, 
and ears ; his arms were raised above his head, and for 
some minutes he remained in that melancholy plight, 
blinded, choked, and smothered, with his hands rendered 
useless for the time. He rolled about, sneezing, sputter- 
ing, and struggling, until all around were convulsed with 


laughter; and our squaws shrieked in iheir ungoverna- 
ble mirih in a manner that I had never before witnessed. 
At length I slii a piece of the edge, and released the old 
fellow from his straight-waistcoat confinement ; he turn- 
ed it round often in his hands, and made a kind of comic- 
grave address to it, of which I could only gather a few 
words. I believe the import of them was, that it would 
be a "good creature in the ice-monih at the village." I 
was so pleased with his good humour, that I gave it to 
him, and told him to vi^arm his squaw in the ice-month. 

We afterwards continued our bargain, and I bought a 
horse of him at a tolerably fair price ; but I was obliged 
to sell even my own blankets, which I wished to sleep 
in on my return, and had but a very small stock of pow- 
der, knives, or trinkets remaining. 

I now proceeded to hire a guide ; and as our old chief 
gave me to understand that his younger l)rother (the same 
man who had acted as guide on our coming out) would 
conduct me to the fori, I sent for the interpreter, and, 
accompanied by him, went to this man's lodge. I found 
that he was very poor, having but one wife and only two 
or three horses ; and though I do not believe that he much 
relished the office, I made an agreement with liim, ac- 
cording to which, on arriving at tlie fort, I was to give 
him a horse and many blankets, — in short a full comple- 
ment of all the articles necessary to an Indian's comfort. 
He was to lake another young man with him, wlio was 
to assist us to hunt, to catch and pack our horses, and 
perform the other services requisite on a march. 

Afier waiting half the day, and hearing nothing from 
the crreai chief about a horse, I sent ihe Canadian to his 
lodge to ask for it; when he returned for answer, that 
he must have both the telescope and pistol before he 
would let me have a horse; I was highly incensed at the 
impudent knavery of this chief; but I thought it impru- 
dent to quarrel with him, as we were so far removed from 
the protection of any white men, and were in the great- 
est want of horses, which were necessary to our con- 
venience, and might be so to our lives, in our passage 
across an immense wilderness, where we were not un- 
likely lo fall in with a war-party of Sioux, Shiennes, 


Aricaras, or other wild tribes hostile to the Pawnee 
escort. Accordingly, I dissembled my anger, and sent 
him word that when his young man brought the liorse I 
would give him the pistol also. 

About this time I observed a great stir in the camp, 
and our old chief was summoned suddenly to a secret 
council ; wdiat passed there I know not, but there was a 
hurried and violent debate ; the decision, however, to 
which they came was, as I. afterwards learned, pacific. 
Very soon the cause of this excitement became generally 
known, and the laconic communication " men are seen," 
passed from mouth to mouth. These few words have a 
stirring and interesting effect in those remote and barren 
regions ; and the conjectures rapidly succeed each other, 
" Who, and what are the comers ? are they friends or 
enemies ? white or red men ?" On this occasion the 
doubt was soon solved, for the strangers, who now ap- 
proached over the prairie, and who had long ago been 
discovered and announced by the Pawnee scouts, came 
straight to the lodge of the great chief, and the signs of 
peace having been before exchanged and confirmed, they 
sat down in silence and awaited the meat and the pipe 
about to be offered to them. They proved to be a hunt- 
ing party of Delavi^ares and Shawnees, on their way to 
the Rocky Mountains ; they were all armed with knives 
and guns, and their dresses were as fantastic as is usual 
among ihe half-civilized tribes. 

All of ihem wore leggins and moccasins ; but in the 
clothing of the upper part of the person, each seemed 
to have followed his own wayward humour; one wore a 
hat, another a fur cap, a third a handkerchief wound 
like a turban; and a deer-skin hunting-shirt seemed to 
be the favouriie covering for their bodies; one or two of 
them could speak a few words of English, and seemed 
to be known to lotan, the Oioe chief; and, by the assist- 
ance of signs, I could make out that they had come 
straight from Fort Leavenworth, (which is as I be- 
fore noticed,) only thirty miles from their villages. 
They had seen many herds of buffalo, but had hunted 
only enough to supply themselves with food, as they 
were in haste to get to the mountains. I asked them if 


there were any late Indian trails, they said a few ; but 
the Dah-colah (nnaking the significant Sioux sign*) were 
going north, I was not sorry to hear this inlelhgence, 
for a war-party of Sioux was by no rrieans desirable to 
meet, while I was accompanied by a feeble Pawnee 
escort. I asked how many days it had taken ihem to 
ride from the fort ; they said '' twenty-five." Having 
my compass in my pocket, and being anxious to see how 
far my idea of the direction of tlie fort was correct, I 
asked a young Delaware to point his finger to it ; he did 
so, and I found he agreed exactly with tlie other Indians 
whom I had consulted, and I took my bearings accord- 

The dislike of the Pawnees for their new guests was 
but ill-concealed, and that of the great chief was so 
bitler and so evident, that I could not help thinking it 
might break out into action. The Pawnees consider 
these corn-growing settled tribes as half-white men, and 
deny their right to [)unl in the buffalo plains and moun- 
tains ; and the party now present had passed through 
the very range which the Pawnees were about to travel, 
and had probably driven off many of the buffalo. I am 
confident that they had saved their lives by their bold- 
ness, in coming straight to the camp by day with signs of 
peace. They wished to pass the Pawnees without being 
discovered by them ; but finding that they had been ob- 
served by the distant scouts, they at once adopted the 
safest, though apparently therashest, course, by present- 
ing themselves peacefully and fearlessly to the whole 
nation : had they avoided the camp, and pursued their 
course, a Pawnee war-party would have probably gone 
out to cut them off. 

The Delawares, degraded in spirit and diminished in 
numbers as they are, have yet some lingering pride, some 
remains of that haughty assumption which led their an- 
cestors to call themselves the '' Lenni Lenupe"\ and to 
consider all other Indians as mere grafts from their pa- 
rent stock. One of those now present was a very good- 

* Drawing the hand across the throat as if to cut it. 
t Anglice, «< Fathers of men." 


looking young man, and a son of a celebrated Delaware 
warrior, who inflicted, about ten years ago, a terrible dis- 
grace upon the Pawnees. He was renirning with his 
packs of skins from the Rocky Mounlains, with only 
six or eight in his company, when they fell in with a 
Pawnee war-party, consisting of sixty or seventy. As 
the latter advanced to the charge, the Delawares hastily 
piled their packs before them, and being armed with 
guns, presented them, and awaited ihe attack of their 
enemies, who were armed only with their bows and ar- 
rows and war-clubs ; the latter did not relish too near an 
approach to the shining barrels, and kept riding round 
and round at speed, discharging their arrows and shout- 
ing and yelling. But the fate of one or two who ap- 
proached within reach of a Delaware bullet, kept the 
rest at a respectful distance. After skirmishing till dusk, 
they withdiew for a time, determined to fall upon them 
during their march ; but so admirably did the Delaware 
make his dispositions, that after killing several Pawnees, 
he brought his little band mto the settlements without the 
loss of a man. 

1 amused myself for two or three hours with making 
glossaries of the Delaware and Shawnee languages, 
(which 1 afterwards compared wiih information of others 
of the satne tribes ;) the former of them is very soft and 
musical, the laiter harsh and guttural. After trading in 
some few articles with the Pawnees, they left us, and 
pursued their course toward the Rocky Mountains. 



Interview with the Great Chief. — Telescope regained. — Stock of Pro* 
visions for the Journey. — Indian Knavery. — Disinterested Genero- 
sity. — Exchange of Horses — Message from the Great Chief. — A 
" Talk.'" — Invitation to the Great Chief — Presents made to him. — 
Want of Cleanliness among the Pawnees — Splendid Daybreak. — 
Valedictory Speeches. — A vicious Horse. — Journey homeward com- 
menced. — Herd of Buffalo.— Successful Shot. — Evening Camp. — 
Musquitoes. — Serious Accident. — Defection of our Guide. — Return 
to the Pawnees. — Repulsive Scene. — Indian Mourning. — Reception 
at the Lodge of Sa-nl-tsa-rish. 

The evening of the 6th passed away, and I heard no 
tidings of my horse from the great chief; accordingly, 
early on the following morning (7lh), 1 despatched a 
young man from our lodge to inquire whether he meant 
to send me one; and, if lie disliked the bargain, desired 
that he would send back the telescope. The lad return- 
ed, shook his head, and made a sign that the great chief 
said nothing. 

Being very indignant at this insolent knavery, I went 
strait to his lodge, and, on the way, cooled down my 
temper as well as I was able, being aware that a little 
imprudence might cost the lives of myself and all my 
party ; but, at the same time, that if I aHovved myself to 
be thus cheated and imposed upon, I should be stripped 
of everytliing before T left the camp. J found the chief 
sitting in ihe customary manner, near the centre of his 
lodge, sharpening his arrows. Three or four of his 
young men were idling about, and two of his squaws, 
assisted by a captive slave.,* were cutting up and spread- 
ing their buffalo meat to dry. He received me as I ex- 
pected, wiih extreme coldness, which I pretended not 
to regard, but sat quietly down in the place to which he 
silently motioned me with his hand. 

* A captive taken in some war-party ; hut I could not learn to what 
tribe she belonged. 


Perceiving, after a few minutes, that he would not 
break the silence, I told him, that I had come to ask for 
the horse which he had promised for the telescope. He 
gave me no answer. I then proceeded to say, that ^' he 
was a great chief, and had a single tongue, and that I 
knew he would not lie to his white brother." Still the 
same sulky look, and no answer: in the meantime, I 
cast my eyes carefully round the interior of his lodge, 
and, at length, espied my telescope, hanging at the back 
of it, near his medicine-bag, &c. Having ascertained 
its locality, I said, I wished to return to the white man's 
fort, and asked him distinctly, whether he would give me 
the horse or not? This lime he answered briefly and 
distinctly enough, ka-ki, " no". I then rose, and, going 
straight to my telescope, took it quietly down, and, hang- 
ing it round my own neck, told him it was all right, or 
very good, and walked deliberately away. I confess I felt 
rather uneasy at this juncture. The chief neither mov- 
ed nor spoke, and yet the muscles of his face were work- 
ing with ill-concealed passion; and I thought it just pos- 
sible that he would not be able to restrain his hand from 
seizing bow or tomahawk. However, I reached Sa-ni- 
tsa-rish's lodge without interruption, and the old man 
asked me if I had got the horse. I told him I had not ; 
but I showed him the telescope. He evinced momen- 
tary surprise, and asked me if the chief had given it me. 
I answered him by a sign, showing how I had taken it. 
He shook his head, and remained silent. 

I now began to lay in my stock of provisions for the 
journey, and, in exchange for a few beads, knives, and 
looking-glasses, obtained from the squaws two packs of 
well-dried meat, weighing about twenty-five pounds 
each, and a bag of Indian corn. I had also a few dried 
beans, which I had brought from the fort. 

Having communicated to my companion V my 

failure in obtaining the horse from the great chief, and 
finding that he had as little prospect of getting one from 
liis ill-tempered and avaricious host, Pa^-tae-lae-chaVo 
(although he had twenty or twenty-five),* we determin- 

*" The name of this chief is classic throughout the whole western world, 

Vol. I.— Bb 


ed upon putting together all our remaining stock of 
spare powder, lead, and baubles, in order to puichase 
one more pack-horse, or mule. We did so, and spread 
the heap before my old chief's lodge. He looked at it, 
shooiv his head, and said, that " no one would give us a 
horse for it, for there was no cloth," He then desired 
his oldest w^fe to bring out from one of his bales a large 
piece of scarlet cloth, and to add it to my heap ; and he 
said " Now call the men ; you will get a horse." 

An Indian soon arrived, leading a sorry-looking ani- 
mal, but tolerably sound and strong. After examining 
the articles, he said they were good, and made the 
sign that he would trade. I directed my servant to roll 
them up for him, and a young man to tie the horse, when 
the Indian spirit of knavery again broke forth, and the 
fellow said, that there was not enough ; he must have 
another knife. I had already given all that I could afford, 
as we had retained only one a-piece for the journey ; and 
I sat a momxcnt in silent vexation : for I knew that to 
dispute was useless, even if I could have commanded 
v/ords ; and to give, I had nothing. Sa-ni-tsa-rish here 
slowly arose, and, taking from his belt his own large or- 
namiCnted knife, threw it upon the heap of goods, and, 
with a haughty and indignant air, said, " Take it and 
go /" then quietly resumed his seat. 

as being the nrst who dared to set at defiance the prejudices of_his na- 
tion, and, when only twent)' years of age, to rescue a female ca|)tive from 
the cruel death to which she was destined. The stor}^ is familiar to all 
who have paid any attention to the recent history of the Indian tribes ; 
but it is so admirably related by Major Long, that I shall make no apology 
for extracting it at length. (See Appendix.) I never saw Major Long's 
work until some time after my return from the Pav^mees, and I feel very 
uncertain whether the Pae-tae-lae-cha'ro described by him is, or is not, 

the chief of the same name in whose lodge my companion V resided. 

The latter appeared to me about thirty-eight years of age ; and, as Major 
Long sav/ the young chief in 1819, and supposed him then to be about 
twenty-three, my calculation would be near the truth. Li figure, strenglh, 
and influence, he would fully answer the Major's description ; while the 
sixteen years that had passed over his head might easily have changed 
the daring high-spirited youth to the crafty ambitious chief. At the same 
time, there is so much uncertainty about Indian names, that I must con- 
fess my inability to decide this question, especially as I Vv'as given to un- 
derstand by Sa-ni-tsft-rish, that several chiefs had borne the name of Pae- 
tac-Iae-cha'r6. I have described merely what I saw, and must leave tha 
evolution of this mystery to the Pawnee heralds and biographers, 


During all my residence with the Indians, I had not 
witues'sed an action so disinterested and generous per- 
formed with such majestic grace and dignity. While the 
abashed dealer sneaked otf with his bundle, I took the 
old chief by the hand, and said, " My father, you are a 
good man ;" and, clenching my hand, pressed it against 
ray breast, in token of my affection. He remained silent, 
and his features now resumed their usual quiet and grave 
character. Meantime, I formed a resolution that, if I 
again reached the fort, I would send him such a present, 
that he should never repent the day when he had been 
so friendly and generous to his white guest. 

I was now provided with horses and provisions suiS- 
cient to give us a reasonable chance of reaching the fort 
without privation or difficulty. The only thing that an- 
noyed me was, that my conjpanion, V , had, without 

(or rather, contrary to) my advice, exchanged a quiet and 
safe gray pony, which 1 had bought for him in Missouri, 
for a wild animal, belonging to an Indian. The former , 
had travelled many hundred miles without a fault or false 
step ; but he fancied it was not strong enough, and 
changed it for a Pawnee animal, which I remembered 
to have noticed on some of our marches, as it was of a 
remarkable colour, and was always rearing, kicking, and 
breaking loose. As V was not a very good horse- 
man, 1 endeavoured to dissuade him from this bargain ; 
but he determined to adhere to it. 

Early in the afternoon I received a message from the 
great chief, desiring that I would come to his lodge to 
have a talk. As I did not know what explanations might 
be requisite, I sent for the Canadian, and requested him 
to accompany me. On arriving, I found that the chiefs 
of the Tapage and Republican bands had also been sum- 
moned. Several of the braves were present, and the 
countenance of the great chief had gained nothing in 
good-humour since the morning. 

As soon as the pipe had been circulated, he made a 
speech of some length, the purport of which was, that 
I proposed to " go back to white men through the prai- 
rie, but that I ought to go with them to their winter vil- 
lage, and return thence by the great trail." I told him 


that " we must return straight ; that our fathers and bro- 
thers were far ; that they looked for us ; and that if we 
stayed, our corn would be spoiled." 

The Republican chief made a speech, and said, that 
" it was bad for me to go with so few young men ; that 
there were bad men, and no friends, hunting in the prai- 
ries ;" and concluded by saying, that I had belter go with 
the Pawnees to their winter village. I answered him, 
through the interpreter, that " I knew he had a single 
tongue, and spoke truth ; that my ears were open ; but 
that I could go through the prairie without fear with ray 
young men : that my rifle (on which T was leaning) would 
kill bad men far off; and that, if they killed me, my 
grandfather (the President) would punish them." 

The Tapage sat silent, but the great chief rose again, 
and exclaimed (at least so it was translated to me by the 
Canadian, for he spoke in so excited and hurried atone 
that I could catch few, if any, of the words) : " My fa- 
ther, y.ou have not ears : if you go in that direction" 
(pointing east by north) " you will drive the cows from 
our path ; you will spoil our winter food. It is not good ; 
you must stay, and not go. I have said." By my de- 
sire, the Canadian answered the great chief : — " You and 
your brothers have been good to me. We have eaten, 
slept, hunted,, and smoked the pipe together. My ears are 
open. I will not drive one cow from your path. Point 
with your finger to the Pawnee path, and I will go home 
a day's journey to the right or the left of it. But I will 
not stay. You are a great chief, and go where you please, 
I am also a while chief; I am not a squaw nor a captive. 
I go to-morrow straight back to our grandfather ; and I 
wish to tell him, and your father (Major Dogherty), how 
good to me his Pawnee children are. I have spoken." 

The chiefs looked at each other for a moment in si- 
lence ; and I thought that more angry discussion should 
be avoided ; so I arose and walked slowly back to my 
lodge. I tried to explain to Sa-ni-tsa-rish Vv'hat had pass- 
ed. He shook his head, and made no remarks. It is, 

remarkable, that neither V nor our white attendants 

were summoned to this "talk," nor to the "great medi^ 
cine" feast already described. 


In two hours I wished to avoid the inconTcnience and 
risk of parting from the great chief in open hostility, so 
I sent to invite him to a feast. To my surprise he came ; 
and, after the meat and pipe, I made him a present of 
some wampum, and a gay-looking cotton handkerchief; 
besides which, I gave him eight new spare horse-shoes, 
which I had brought with me in case of accidents. They 
were useless, and very troublesome to carry : had they 
been good for anything, I would have given them to my 
old host; but to the chief I only gave them to get rid of 
them. I thought that the cunning savage appreciated 
more correctly than I could wish the value of this pre- 
sent ; but he received it with becoming gravity. Soon 
afterward he asked me for some coffee and sugar. I 
had a very small quantity of these in my bag, and I did 
not know to what straits I might be reduced, and I de- 
clined to give him any, saying, in the usual Indian wa}^, 
^' I have got none !" He soon rose and went away ; and 
our parting was not affectionate on either side. I was 
glad that he had feasted with me, and taken my presents 
after our talk; because he could not, according to their 
customs, after so doing, order me to be interrupted or 
waylaid in my route. 

On the niglit of the 7th I scarcely slept at all, so ex- 
cited was I at the prospect of our prairie journey, and, I 
may add, so delighted at exchanging, even for greater 
hardships, the confinement, the vermin, and the dirt of 
the Pawnee lodges. 

It is not a pleasant thing to comment upon nastiness 
of any kind ; but a few trifles, of daily occurrence, may 
be necessary to rescue my companion and myself from 
the charge of caprice. Imprimis : every article within 
the lodge, including my own skins, jacket, and shirt, was 
covered with vermin. These insects are, as is well 
known, of two species ; the one frequenting the hair, the 
ether the body. The former of these are considered by 
the Pawnee naturalists "Pediculus esculentus ;" for 
whenever the squaws are unemployed in severer labour, 
they enjoy a feast of this kind, gathered either from the 
hair of their children or of each other. For many suc- 
cessive weeks I have observed them pass from half an 



hour to an hour of every day in this manner, and uiey 
really seem to eat this filthy vermin with no small satis- 
faction ; but I have been told by traders, that they will 
not eat them from the heads of the whites ! 

Another circumslance that used to annoy me very muchy 
■was, that the water, wdiich was frequently bad enough as 
brought by the squaws from the stream or pond, wa& 
placed generally near the opening of the lodge, where it 
was a perpetual plaything for all the children ; one would 
dabble his hands in it, another dip his or her dirty face 
into the vessel to drink, wdiile the hair was floating over 
its surface ; and now and then a cur, more sly or bold 
than the rest, would sneak round and get a drink, until 
the indignant squaw, who had carried it perhaps two or 
three hundred yards, might become aware of his lappings 
when the first weapon within reach, whether bone, stick, 
stone, or tomahawk, w^as launched at the intruder's heady 
with a shrieking exclamation, which can only be written 
as follows, it being remembered in pronunciation that the 
rr must be burred as strongly as possible : " t's — t'st — 
urr-r-r-r-r-r a-sa-ki" (which last is the Pawnee word for 
dog). All the preceding particulars regarding the water 
are well enough, until it is mentioned that I was destined. 
tad/ ink it. Indeed, I may say, I found that all the ac- 
cidental and occasional hardships of Indian life in the 
country, such as scarcity of food or water, long marches 
in oppressive heat, sleeping in cold or wet places — all 
these [ found more tolerable than the filth that was hourly 
before my eyes, and in which I was obliged to live. 

The only persons in the camp whom I could view 
with any feelings of regard were my old chief and his 
good-humoured, though unattractive wives and daughters^ 
among whom I distributed before I left them all the tri- 
fles and trinkets which my horse-dealing enabled me to 
spare. As a good omen for our journey, the morn of the 
8lh dawned with a magnificence more glorious than ever 
I had seen on tlie great- Atlantic ; the undulating outline 
of the eastern hills was robed in a gorgeous mass of 
saffron, surmounted by a wide extent of amber, resem- 
bling the tints sometimes seen on the cheek of a peach ; 
^\y1 above that again night w^as slowdy receding behind a 


curtain of the softest rosy hue, from the centre of v.hich 
the lingering planet of morning iocked out like an eye. 

Soon after daybreak we had packed our skins and pro- 
visions on two horses. One was led by the guide ; and 
all was ready for our departure. Our old chief m.ade 
me a speech, in which he seemed much affected. He 
said : " My father, you have been too short lime with 
us ; but your squaws and your white brothers want you. 
Go, my father. Your tongue is single; your ears are 
open. Yon are a chief; gu, and tell our grandfather that 
Sa-ni-tsa-rish is a brother to his children." 

To this speech I made a suitable reply, through the 
Canadian, telling him that " he was indeed a good man, 
and that when I reached the white man's dwelling,! would 
speak truth of him to his father and his grandfather ; and 
when his young men relumed, their hands should not bs 
empty, but all the Pawnees should know that the white 
chief loved Sa-ni-tsa-rish."* T then embraced him, shook 
hands with ihe squaws, as well as with his children, to 
whom I had given presents according to their ages, and 
prepared to mount, as the attendants were already on 

A scene now commenced, the termination of which 

was serious and unpleasant. My companion V 's 

Pawnee horse was brought up to him by an Indian, 
leading it with a strong laryette ; but, as soon as he ap- 
proached, the animal snorted, reared, kicked, and show^ed 
every sign of spite and anger. If he came near it in 
front, it would run at him with its teeth, and if behind, 
lashed the air with a pair of very active heels. Not be- 
ing a practised horseman, V could not creep behind 

the animal and spring on it, or perform any similar 
equestrian manceuvre ; and T, having already mounted 
my roan, could see that the Indians weie beginning to 
make signs to each other, and to laugh at our predica- 

Knowing how dangerous it is among this people to 
allow yourself to be a subject of ridicule, I told V 

* I need scarcely inform the reader, that I fulfilled this promise as. 
soon as I reached the settlements. I sent the old chief, through the 
Indian agent, a supply of knives, tobaceo, cloth, beads, and blankets. 


.to ride my horse, and I would see what I could make of 
his wild beast. Accordingly, I took my cudgel in my 
hand and walked toward him in front, telling the Indian 
by signs to hold on to the laryette. As I approached, 

he snuffed and snorted as he had done to V ; and 

when he thought I was near enough, jumped forward to 
seize me with his teeth ; but I saluted him with a heavy 
blow on the head with my cudgel, and finding that it 
checked him, I repeated the application. He appeared 
stunned and stupified for a moment, so I jumped on him, 
and, telling the Indian to let go, gave the word to march. 
For the first few minutes I continued to belabour my 
unruly steed with the cudgel, accompanying every blow 
with a loud rough ejaculation, in order that he might 
learn to know my voice. Before I had long treated his 
ribs to the same wholesome discipline which his head 
had undergone, he appeared to be quite humbled and 
docile, so I rode quietly on with the party ; and when- 
ever he showed symptoms of resuming his pranks, I only 
had to call to him in the same tone as before, and he 
returned to a sense of duty. 

With what light hearts did we now take our way across 
the prairie with our faces to the east, considering as our 
resting-place and home that Fort Leavenworth which, 
six months before, I should have deemed, and which 
many now deem, the '^ultima Thule" of the inhabitable 
world ! Thus are all the objects in life coloured by the cir- 
cumstances which form the medium through which they 
are viewed ; and thus, in an analogous instance, the dry 
brown loaf and pitcher of buttermilk, which the poorest 
British labourer dines upon at mid-day under a hedge, or 
the rations of any culprit in jail, would often (during the 
last few weeks) have been to us a most delicious ban- 

Inspired by these thoughts, I marched by the side of 
our guidt^ and endeavoured to improve my scanty stock 
of the Pawnee language. I observed that he took a 
course nearly parallel, but bearing rather northward, of 
that of the " village," and he gave me to understand that 
he did so by the orders of the great chief. I made no 
objection, knowing that a score of miles, more or less, in 


such a journey as we had before us, could be of little 

After travelling between twenty and thirty miles (east 
north-east, by compass), we halted for an hour or two, 
to bait our horses, on the brink of a small stream, which 
flowed gently down a sheltered ravine, opened our pro- 
vision packs, and were proceeding to eat our mid-day 
meal, when we saw a small herd of buffalo gallopping furi- 
ously along, at a distance, having been evidently startled 
by some outskirtersamongthe Pawnee hunters, who were 
some miles to the south of us. Observing them closely, 
we soon became aware that they did not see us ; and I 
determined to try and give our two Indians a high idea 
of my skill in woodcraft, — so I caught up my rifle, made 
signs to all tlie party to remain perfectly still, and crept 
rapidly along the bottom of the ravine, to meet them at 
the point where I thought tliey would cross it. 

I was on foot, and of course there was some danger in 
the experiment ; but I could not afford to tire my faithful 
roan, by gallopping her while on a long march. Raising 
my head cautiously and at intervals, I could see the snnall 
herd of buffalo bounding along after their ungainly fash- 
ion, and evidently making for a kind of gap or break in 
the ravine, a few hundred yards ahead. Increasing my 
speed, I was enabled to lie down, about seventy or eighty 
yards from their crossing-place, just as the leader plunged 
into the defile. Allowing two or three scraggy ill-look- 
ing animals to pass unnoticed, I at last saw a fine fat 
young cow enter the pass. I let her descend, and re- 
served my fire till she should begin to mount the oppo- 
site " brae." When she was about mjd-way up, I fired 
with deliberate aim, and heard that welcome crack, which 
tells to a sportsman's ear that his bullet has found its 
mark. However, I remained still, and she continued her 
course. At length, I observed that the rest gallopped 
on, and she lagged behind. I then gave chace : before 
I came up she had staggered and fallen ; and on reach- 
ing the spot, I found that the ball had pierced her heart. 
I now returned to my companions, and, shouting to them 
to bring the two pack-horses, in a few minutes we had 
more fat meat slung across them^ than I could permit 


them to be loaded withal on the journey. I was proud 
of this shot, and I could see that the Indians exchanged 
looks of surprise and admiration when they saw the fear- 
ful rent which my ounce-ball had made in the buffalo's 

We made a short and merry feast, and slung enough 
meat to last for one or two days. We then pursued our 
course till dusk. The wild horse required a little disci- 
pline of the cudgel by the way ; but I now found that 
merely shaking it near his head, and calling to him at 
the same time, was sufficient to quiet him. We camped 
for the evening on the brink of a streamlet, having made 
about thirty miles, east-north-east. Here we were both 
surprised and annoyed at finding a number of niusqui- 
toes and horse-flies, a nuisance from which we had been 
so long free ; and on applying to the Indian, he told me 
that the " a-shats" (musquito) never came within reach 
of their village or camp. 'Whether this be owing to the 
number of fires, or peculiar smell exhaled by the skins 
and grease which they use, I know not ; but I had the 
means afterwards of ascertaining the fact. 

9th. — This day was the most unfortunate which we 
had hitherto experienced. Having, as I thought, suffi- 
ciently subdued the vicious horse, I had given it back to 

V , and was again mounted on my own. Wliile 

riding in front with the guide, I heard a noise behind me, 
and turning round saw him on the ground, and the brute 
plunging about him and upon him. Gallopping back at 
full speed, T shouted as I rode up to this wild beast, and 
he went off loose over the prairie. Hastily directing 
the second Indian to watch, follow, and catch him, I 

stooped down over V , whom I found speechless, 

and almost without sense or motion. Fortunately there 
was a stream and a tree not far off: we carried him 
thither, and placing him under the latter, began to use 
all the means in our power to restore suspended anima- 
tion. At length, to my anxious inquiries as to where he 
felt the severe pain or hurt, he answered by indicating 
his breast and ribs. All our stock of medicine was in- 
cluded in one bottle of brandy, which I had carefully 
reserved in case of violent dysentery or accidents. I 


now opened it ; we began to chafe his body, and sooh 
had the satisfaction of seeing him fully restored to the 
powers of consciousness and respiration ; but he suffered 
much pain, his breast was bruised severely, he thought 
two or three ribs were broken, and his left arm was so 
severely hurt that he could not move or raise it. 

I do not know that ever I spent so anxious an hour; 
for the thought occurred to me that if he had received 
contusions affecting either the lungs or the intestines, he 
might die for want of surgical assistance. I looked at 
my roan, and for some minutes thought of leaving him 
with the rest of the party, and taking a little dried buffalo 
meat, of riding alone, as fast as she could carry me, to 
the fort, to ask for a surgeon and two or three soldiers 
to assist. in transporting him. Then I remembered the 
length of the journey, the probability that I might fail in 
returning to the exact spot, and the time that must neces- 
sarily elapse before I could return, which rendered it 
probable that before then he must be either dead or con- 
valescent ; so I determined to remain with him, and 
endeavour to play the part of surgeon as well as our 
slender means would permit. Accordingly, I ordered 
some buffalo broth to be made, and in the meantime 
continued the brandy embrocation both to the arm and 
the body ; we made him as soft a bed as we could 
with our skins, and left much to the care of dame 
Nature ; a nurse who, when unthwarted by folly and 
quackery, is one of the most efficient of the restorers 
of health. Meantime the Indian lad returned, leading 
the author of all this evil ; and as I looked at his 
malignant eye and his^'flapping sulky ears, I internally 
resolved to take him under my own particular care, to 
load him and cudgel him to his heart's content, as soon 
as we might be able to resume a journey which had been 
interrupted by his savage vice. 

Upon inquiring into the origin of the accident, I 

learned that he had begun to jump a little ; V had 

tried to soothe and coax him : as soon as he discovered 
this change in the system of government, he reared and 
plunged more violently and threw his rider — who was, as 
I before remarked, not a very practised horseman. All 


this I could have forgiven him ; but the jumping about 
V , and kicking at him while on the ground, I deter- 
mined to requite upon the first opportunity. At present 
I only hobbled and tied liim fast, in which operation a 
few hints both from my voice and cudgel were neces- 

At mid-day, I found with great satisfaction, that a few 
hours' rest, together with the brandy embrocation, had 

very much allayed the pain and inflammation of V 's 

hurts. Neither the arm nor ribs proved to be broken ; 
but the former was so contused as to be without use or 
motion. At this time, the Indian coming up to me, said 
that "the Great Spirit was against our going — that this 
sign, or omen, was not good — that it was against his 
medicine to guide us ; and he must strike to the south, 
to the Pawnee trail, and rejoin them." 

It is never any use to argue a question'with an Indian : 
this man, though an excellent guide and runner, was 
neither a hunter, nor a warrior ; and he probably did not 
much like crossing with so small a company a wide 
extent of wilderness, where we were so liable to fall in 
with war-parties from other tribes. I consulted my 
companions, and we all agreed that it would be foolish 
rashness to endeavour to find our way to the settlements 
without a guide, and with one of our small party com- 
pletely crippled and inefficient. Indeed I thought that 

y might require the assistance and rough nursing of 

the Indians before he would be able to undergo the 
fatigue of so long a journey ; we, therefore, agreed to 
go back to the Pawnees, although, I believe, we were 
all so heartily tired of them, that we would have done 
anything consistent with common sense to avoid being 
again WMth them. However, there was no remedy ; and 
we struck off at an easy and gentle rate, south-south- 
east. I took charge of the wild horse, for he would not 
permit eitlier of my attendants to come near him ; and I 
placed upon him the heaviest pair of saddle-bags which 

we possessed, beside my own person, while V rode 

my gentle roan. 

We camped in the evening without accident, and V 

seemed to recover from his bodily bruises ; but the arm 

Repulsive scENfi. 


remained powerless. His sieed gave us here another 
specimen of liis amiable nature, i had lied him by ihe 
laryeite to a slump to keep him quiet, while we unpack- 
ed the oiher animals ; and, in arranging ihe baggage, my 
servant walked uuguardedly, with a pair of saddle-bags 
over his arm, too near the place where he was apparent- 
ly feeding ; but he was only watching an opporlunily for 
mischief; for he backed suJdenlv, and kicked with boih 
heels and all his force at poor John, who had a narrow 
escape ; for the saddle-bags were sent some yards fiom 
him, and he hiuiself nearly knocked over, whether by 
surprise and alarm, or by the horse's hoofs, I know not. 
However, there could be no satisfaction in travelling in 
company with such a sly brute, and I determined to ex- 
change him for anything I could get when we overtook 
the village. 

About ten o'clock on the following day we found the 
great Pawnee trail, and, following ii, came at mid-day to 
the plate where ihey had camped the night before, and a 
most hideous spectacle did it present : the grass was all 
trodden into mud — hundreds of circular heaps of charred 
wood attested the number of fires that had been used ; 
and the whole plain was strewed with split heads, bare 
skeletons, and scattered entrails of buffalo; while some 
hundreds of the half-starved Pawnee dogs, who had linger- 
ed behind the village, were endeavouring to dispute some 
morsels of the carcasses with the gaunt snarling wolves, 
who were stripping the scanty relics of skin and sinew 
which are left by Indian buichery attached to the bone. 
So intent were these last upon their filthy meal, that they 
allowed me to ride close up to them without leaving it; 
and I could have shot half a dozen of them with a 
pocket-pistol. The desolation of the scene was rather 
increased than diminished by two small circular lodges, 
the apertures to which were closed, and from which pro- 
ceeded the low wailing chant of Indian mourning. 

This I observed to be a common custom atnong the 
Pawnees. After the rest of the village had been for se- 
veral hours on the march, a mourning family would re- 
main behind and sing this melancholy kind of dirge. I 
should think that it must be a very dangerous mode of 

Vol. I.— Cc 


lamentation while in these remote excursions ; because, 
if any hostile war-pariy was hovering on ihe Pawnee 
trail, they would inevitably fall viclims to the pursuers. 
But this risk may be the very reason for ils hemg es- 
teemed so great a tribute to the dead ; or, possibly, they 
may trust to the distant out-posts of well-inounied war- 
riors, with which the Pawnees always secure their rear 
and flanks. 

The duration of mourning among this tribe seems very 
unfixed : the widow always mourns a year for her hus- 
band ; but I have someiimes seen squaws moaning and 
chanting in the evening at a little distance from camp ; 
and, on inquiry, have learned ihat they were mourning for 
a relative, who had been some years dead. 

About ten miles beyond this spot, we found the Paw- 
nees encamped, and made our way straight to the lodge 

of Sa-ni-tsa-rish ; for V did not wish to trust himself 

again in ihat of Pa^-ta^-la^-cha'ro, so importunate in his 
demands, and so insolent in pressing liiem, had that 
youn^T chief become of late. Indeed, just before our 
former departure, he had refused to sell us a horse, 
altfiough he had ihiriy, and we offered iiim the full com- 
plement of arlicles usually given in exchange ; his tem- 
per was by no means improved 'by his having lost his 
two best horses in gambling at the game of the hoop 
and dart before described. So it was agreed that we 

would only stay till V was able to travel, and until 

we could procure fresh guides and another horse, in the 
place of the " wild beast." 

The old chief received us in his usual kind manner; 
and, agreeably to Indian custom, testified not the least 
surprise at our return, nor curiosity to know what had 
so suddenly caused it, until we were seated, and chose to 

explain to him by signs, that V tiad been, and still 

was nuich hurt by a bad horse, and that our guide, his 
brother, had thought it " bad medicine" to proceed. 

Sa-ni-tsa-rish said he was sorry my white brother was 
hurl, and that one of his young men should try and find 
a horse in exchange for the wicked one. When he found 

that V would not return to the lodge of Pae-tae la^- 

cha'rd, he shook his head, and looked somewhat grave 


and disconcerted. 1 knew that he had not roonn nor pro- 
visions for all our party, and that we ougfit noi to put the 
old man to ranch inconvenience, especially in drawing 
upon him ihe ill-will of the haughty young chief; I, there- 
fore, lold him that, if he would procure us the horse and 
two fresh guides, that we wished to go immediately ; for 

V said he was well enough to sit upon a horse, 

though not to make long marches at fiist. I do not think 
that Sa-ni-tsa-rish was well pleased wilh the conduct of 
his brother (who was, indeed, a timid foolish Indian), nor 
do I think that the latter was very well satisfied with his 
own performances ; for as soon as we reached the camp, 
he had gone off to his lodge, and, during our slay, he 
neither came to us nor to his brother. 


Commission intrusted to the Canadian Interpreter. — Arrangement 
with two Indian Guides. — Pae-tae-lae-cha"r6 — Indications of his Ma- 
lignity. — Leave the Pawnees. — Harangue of the Guide. — Dinner. — 
March resumed. — Fearful Storm. — Indian Superstition. — Morning 
after the Storm. — Ramble in Search of Game. — Antelope. — A nar- 
row Escape. — An Indian Hunter — Conversation with him. — Lose my 
Party. — Visit to an Indian Camp. — My Reception there. 

I NOW sent up to the Republican band for the Cana- 
dian interpreier, and requested him to assist in changing 
the horse, and in hiring two guides for the fort, and ask- 
ed him to secure, if possible, two bold active fellows, 
who would not turn back for a trifle. The first part of 
this commission he executed by giving me an animal of 
his own, which looked tolerably well at first, but a few 
days' experience showed him to be lame from a conceal- 
ed disease in the foot. How he executed the second, 
the sequel will show. He brought me two young men; 
the elder was called a hunter and a warrior (having been 
out wilh a war-party) ; and they both said that they were 
willing to guide the white chief to his home, and to see 
his white brothers. I was inclined favourably towards 
the elder of these young men, because he was a relative 


of our old chief. I ihen repealed carefully with the in- 
terpreter whai 1 would give ihem when we readied the 
fort ; so many blaiikeis, knives, papers of paini, strings 
of wampum, pieces of cloth, a horse, &c. ; — all lids I 
wrote with my pencil, and read to them. They said, 
" Their while faiher was good ; his hand was open ; they 
would go 10 his home." 

Having arranged this matter, we all slept under, or 
nen\ the !'-'>ge of Sa-ni-tsa-rish. 1 found the interior of 
the lodge so close and offensive duiing some of these 
indd nights that I frequently spread my bearskin before 
it, where my brother, the chief's son, slept near me, and 
sung me to sleep v\ith his low monotonous war-song. 
Indeed, a great many of the young Pawnee warriors 
prefer sleeping on the damp ground, wrapped in their 
buffalo-skin or blanket, to the interior of a lodge, which 
last they consider effeminate. Jn the morning 1 was re- 
joiced to find that V — • — was so much better as lo de- 
clare himself able and anxious lo escape, a second time, 
from ilie vermin nest, to which we had so unwillingly re- 

We then collected our packs of skins, and whatever 
few other articles we possessed ; having also contrived 
to purchase a small additional supply of dried maize and 
buffalo meat, and began to load our horses before our 
old chief's lodge. While this ceremony was being 
performed, Pae-ta^-lag-cha'ro, with whom V had be- 
fore resided, came up and squalled down by our goods, 
with his eyes fixed upon ihem, and, w'ilhoul deignincr to 

notice V , who had been so long his guest, and from 

whom he had received as many presents as our means 
had enabled him to offer. He sat for some lime perfectly 
still, and gave me full leisure to admire (as I could not 
help doing) the magnificent mould of his Herculean 
limbs, uniting the smooth roundness and pliant grace pe- 
culiar lo the Indians, with a developemenl of muscle 
and sinew rarely seen among ihem. He had shaved off 
the ponderous mass of black and bushy hair,* which 

* It is well known that the Indians' hair is almost universally black 
?^nJ strati ; that of this chief was certainly an exception to the latter, fox 


covered his head when I had first known him; all but 
the scalplock, which, intertwined with an eagle's feather, 
and tinged wiih vermilion, now rose high above his scalp, 
as if daring any mortal to try to win it. 

I know not what had obtained for us the displeasure 
and hatred of this dangerous chief; but, though we had 
so often eaien, hunted, and smoked together — thou^rh our 
attendants had rendered him a number of services, in 
trifling matters which his own people did not understand, 
he now looked up in my face as if he had never known 
me, and, with a countenance strongly indicative of dis- 
like and malignity. In returning liis look, I threw into 
my manner as much unconcern and contempt as I could ; 
but, nevertheless, thought it not unlikely that he would 
do us some mischief before we reached the fort. 

Old ISa-ni-lsa-rish's gave me a warm embrace at part- 
ing, as before ; but he was grave and thoughtful, and 
said, there were bad men in the prairie ; adding a signi- 
ficant sign that we should look out while we slept.* 
This last caution I determined not to forget; but I did 
not communicate it to the rest of the party, thinking that 
without it there was already in the journey before us 
sufficient cause for anxiety and uneasiness. 

On the morning of the 11th we again bade adieu to 
the Pawnees, and most anxiously did we all wish that it 
might be for ever. While we shook bands with all the 
other Indians around, and while I embraced my old 
chief, and iiry brother,! Pa^-ta^-la^-cha'ro retained the 

when allowed to grow Ions', it was extreme!)' thick, and had a very 
perceptible wave. I have also both read and heard of many exceptions 
to the black colour in the remote tribes in the mountains, such as the 
Arrapahoes, Kaskaias, &c., and more especially the Mandans on the 
Upper Missouri, among whom there are many instances of hair of a 
grayish blue ashy colour; but it prevails more among the females than 
among the men. 

* This sign is made by suffering the head to rest for a moment on the 
palm of the right hand, in a reclining position (to imitate sleep), and 
then passing the forefinger of the same hand from the eye in an t)blique 
direction, which indicates that you are to look, secretly or warily ; 
whereas, if you are desired to look straight before you, or openly, the 
forefinger would be directed toward the supposed object in front. 

+ The son of Sa-ni-fsa rish, whom I have more than once mentioned, 
and who was, in the main, a good-natured young man, had frequently, 
while we were hunting together, called me by this name, which is Eh- 



same sulky and unmoved expression, and we began our 
march wiihoul his having bestowed one mark of recog- 
niiion, either on his laie guest or on myself. 

Soon afier we had left the village I rode forward, 
in order to make my observations on the disposition of 
the guide, to watch how he selected the ground for our 
route, and also to amuse myself by improving myself in 
Pawnee grairimar. The young man seemed very lively 
and communicative, and was extremely fond of convers- 
ing by signs, an art in which he was thoroughly versed ; 
and 1 soon became so familiar with his method of ex- 
pression, that 1 could understand almost everything he 
wished to explain to me. 

It may not be uninteresting to record a long speech he 
thus made me, and of which I could understand the 
whole without his once speaking : — " My father, you are 
going home to your lodge ; it is very far; twenty days 
we must travel fast. I am your brother. I will find the 
path ; I will find water. At nigfit I will watch to see if 
bad men are coming; Sioux and Shiennes, and others, 

are bad men. Your white brother (V ) is not strong ; 

lie is Vv'ounded in the arm and body ; he must sleep; I 
will look. You will come to your village (Fort Leaven- 
worth); I shall see your people ; they will give me plenty 
to eat. I will see your prett}^ white squaws ; you will 
give me blankets, beads, a horse; you will load him for 
me with knives, and cloth, and a coat, and a hat. I will 
go back to tlie Pawnees ; I will be a man ; I will take a 
squaw — a very pretty young squaw. Men will see my 
blankets, and other goods, and will say, ' The while 
chief is your father; he has an open hand.' " 

During this haranirne he frequently slopped, and asked 
me by signs if I understood. If I answered by an af- 
firmative sign, he immediately went on, if by a negative, 
he repeated his gestures more carefully until I compre- 
hended them. 

After travelling in this manner about twenty miles, we 
reached a creek of considerable size ; it was very wel- 

r&h-re, puttiniT at ttie same time, two finj^ers of tlie ricrht hand toaether 
on his lower hp, and then prpssinjr his clenched hand over his heart ; 
the first of these signs denoung brotherhood ; the second, afTeclion. 

DINNER. 307 

Come to our eyes, for we were very ihirsly ; moreover, 
we Uiought it would lead us lo one of the upper forks of 
the Kauzas.* and when we should have crossed iliat 
river, we should be among friendly Indians, and consider 
ourselves safe. Here we camped and prepared our din- 
ner, which was by no means to be despised ; for be it 
remenjbered, that we had kept, besides a pound or two 
of tea, cotfee, and sugar, a small sack of flour, two or 
three quarls of beans, and a large piece of fat bacon, or 
rather, bacon fat ; besides ihese civilized luxuries, we 
had some maize and dried buffalo meat. Our kitchen 
utensils consisted of a larcre iron pot, a smaller tin one, 
for boiling our tea, coffee, &c., and a frying-pan without a 
handle. ( )ur dinner and tea service were uot upon so mag- 
nificent a scale, having each of us a butcher's knife, a tin 
cup, a wooden bowl, and a spoon made of buffalo-horn. 
We now determined to indemnify ourselves for our dirty 
half-dressed fare among the Pawnees, not by the quan- 
tity, but by the quality and delicacy of our cookery. I 
appointed young Hardy, the American lad, cook. As 
soon as his face was turned homeward, he improved very 
much in spirits, readiness, and activityj and in all the 
detail of daily work completely beat my other servant, 
although the lalter was a full grown and a stronger man. 
We put into the pot, with three or four quarts of water, 
a large lump of meat, with some maize and a few beans. 
When these were thoroushly boiled, ihey made a very 
palatable and nutritious soup ; but in our second course 
we indulged in a luxury to which we had lotig been 
strangers; for we made some small flour cakes, by fry- 
ing them in bacon fat, and finished this repast with a 
cup of coffee. After which we lit our pipes with Kinne- 
kennik, leaned back against some of the bales with our 
feet tQ. the fire, and felt as complete a contempt for want 
and care as ever I remember to have experienced. In 
feeding our guides, I had allowed them a larger allowance 
of meat and maize than we took ourselves ; but no cakes, 
as our stock of flour was so small ; and as to bacon, no 

* It would liave led us, as we afterward discovered, to one of the 
tributaries of the Arkansas. 


Pawnee will touch it.* The coffee they did not like ; and 
it is no wonder; for thinking it was throwing pearls before 
swine, I took care to dilute their portions liberally with 
water ; but I found that, whether strong or weak, they 
disliked it, and only drank it because they thought it 
was "great medicine " auiong the whites. 

In the afternoon we marclied for two or three hours, 
observing generally the course of the same stream. We 
passed vast herds of buffalo ; our guides v*^ished me to 
shoot one or two, but I would not, for more reasons than 
one ; first, I thought we had still as much meat as our 
horses ought to be made to carry, so that it would be but 
wanton cruelty to kill what we could notuse; and second- 
ly, I could not tell how near to us might be lurking parties 
of Pawnees, perhaps watching these very herds, and 
who might, if 1 began to hunt and shoot them, be depriv- 
ed of their meat supply, and become hostile in iheir views 
toward us; so I would not permit the animals to be dis- 
turbed, and we passed quieily on about twelve miles : 
course by compass east by north. 

A heavy black mass of clouds now appeared above the 
north-west horizon, and we resolved to camp immediately, 
in order to get time to shelter our baggage, secure our 
horses, light our fire, and, if possible, pitch our tent. 
This last was a small fly-tent, which liad been lent to me 
by one of the officers at the fort ; we had used it only a 
few times on our outward march, and never since we had 
joined I he Pawnee village. I would now have left it in 
the barren wilderness, whese we could not find tent-poles 
with which to raise it, had I not thought that I was bound 
by all the considerations of honesty and politeness, to re- 
turn it to the mess from which I had been allowed to 
take it. 

We had ill calculated the rapidity with which one of 
these terrible s'orms in the West marches across the hea- 
vens. We had only just tim.e to unload and secure our 
horses, and to pile our baggage in a heap, with the tent 

* The horror of many tribe of Indians for bacon may be noticed as 
one of the curious coincidences which have been brought forward for the 
purpose of tracing their origin up to the Israelites. 


thrown loosely over it, when the flood-gates were let loose 
above us, and a torrent descended, such as I have never 
seen exceeded, if equalled, in my hfe. The darkness 
seemed blacker ilian Ui?ual, fitful gusis of tempest swept 
wiih unchecked fury over the waste, while ilie broad 
flashes of lightning wljich accompanied the heavy and 
repealed peals of thunder, served to reveal to us our 
pitiful and miserable plight. Pitiful, indeed, it was, for 
we had neither food, fire, nor shelter, but were stretched 
on the grass round the baggage, each in the position 
which he had first chosen, wrapped in our buffalo-skins, 
which, in half an hour, were completely soaked and 
drenched. There was no remedy but to lie quiet and 
make the best of it ; for, after the first fury of the storm 
had passed over, a heavy continuous rain succeeded, and 
did not cease till morning. Just about dawn the guide 
came to me, led me a little on one side, ihen pointing 
upward, told me in a whisper to " ask the Great Spu'it to 
send no more rain, but to show ihe sun ;" I gravely made 
a sign of assent, and he went away apparently satisfied. 
Whether he derived this idea from his own superstitious 
belief in the white man's superior facilities of communi- 
cating with the(jreat Spirit, or whether he had heard any-, 
thing from one of the Missionaries about praying, I know 

With the dawn, the darkness and the rain departed, 
and I shall not soon forget the sensation which 1 expe- 
rienced, nor the appearance of our group. Drenched, 
hungry, and shivering with cold, we cravvled out of the 
puddles in which we had slept, and I never saw a more 
miserable-looking set of Christians than we were. Our 
clothes were soaked, ragged, and dirty ; our beards of a 
week's growth ; and our broad-brinmned hats doubled and 
squeezed into the mosi quaint and fantastic shapes. Even 
the Indians, as they rose and shook their blankets, patted 
their cold ribs and loins, saying, " It is very cold ; — not 
good, not good." Som3 of our party complained much 
of symptoms of lumbago and rheumatism ; but I urged 
them to jump and move about, to catch the horses which 
had strayed to some distance, although hobbled, and to 
try and make a fire. This last, after no little trouble, we 


effected, put on our pots, and made some soup and hot 
coffee, smoked our pipe of Kinnekinnik,* and, as soon 
as the sun appeared, spread our clothes and skins to dry. 
We were obhged also to spread all our meat, for ihat 
beinfT carried in packs will spoil very soon, unless kept 
carefully dry. 

While lying thus lazily steaming and drying myself, 
it being the morning of the 1 2th, I began to think of the 
thousands of citizens, cockneys, and sportsmen, who 
were on this day killing (or friohtening) their fifty brace 
on the brown hills of old Scotland. 1 felt a longing to 
be there — not for the grouse, but for some of the fami- 
liar faces of honae. 

At noon we started again, and soon fell in with a small 
party of Pawnees, who were pursuing a straightcourse for 
their winter village, north-north-east ; we interchanged 
a few words and passed on. The day had now become 
very close and sultry, so I threw off my coat and waist- 
coat, and securing my ammunition in my waist-belt, 
determined to walk off the stiffening effects of the pre- 
ceding night's ducking. The guide pointed to a high 
point or knob at a distance, apparently terminating the 
ridge on which we were situated, and it was agreed 
that the party should camp there for the night ; while I 
should take a ramble with my rifle, and endeavour to ob- 
tain a supply of fresh fat, of which we were much in 
need for our frying-pan operations. Accordingly, I start- 
ed, and after traversing a large space of barren, undula- 
ting ground, I saw a few antelope browsing ; as they 
had also seen me, all my attempts to approach them 
were abortive; so I determined to try a method well 
known to western hunters. Hidinsj myself behind a 
small mound, I raised my handkerchief on the point of 
my ranu'od, and waved it gently once or twice, then w'ilh- 
drew it; this manoeuvre I repeated two or three times, 

* KinnfkTnnIck ; this mixture, which is smoked by all the Indians of 
the western regions, is usually composed of the dried leaves of the shu- 
mack and the inner bark of the red willow ; these are chopped very fine, 
and the compound is generally carried in otters' skins, ornamented with 
beads or porcupine quills; with the addition of one-fourth proportion 
of tobacco, it is a smoking-mixture by no means to be despised. I be- 
lieve the word is Delaware. 


and the silly, curious animnls approached wiih their noses 
and necks stretched forward, to see what this strange ap- 
parition could be. They were coming nearer and nearer, 
and would have been almost immediately within shot, 
when preparing to present my rifle, I made some awk- 
ward movement, so as to expose my elbow or shoulder, 
and in a moment the timid creatures ran off at full speed, 
leaving me in the worst predicament that a man can be 
in, angry with himself. 

After walking for another hour, I saw a single buffalo 
grazing on tlie lop of a hill, the sides of which were very 
level and slightly inclined, so as to render it difficult to 
approach him. Resolving, however, to attempt it, I 
look advantage of every mound and hillock to conceal 
myself, until I came within about three hundred yards : 
hence tlie gentle slope was quite smooth ; so I was 
obliged to lie down, and trail myself along the ground, 
likea serpent, dragging my rifle with me. Whenever 
the buffalo stopped feeding, and raised his head, I in- 
stantly dropped and remained perfectly still, until he 
again began to browse. In this manner I had succeeded 
in crawling within about eighty yards, without disturb- 
ing the animal, when, just as I raised myself slightly, to 
take my aim, I heard the report of a gun. A ball whistled 
by me, and the buffalo gallopped off. Starting to my 
feet, I ran forward, and saw the hunter who had jus 
fired. He had apparently been creeping to attack the 
buffalo from the other side : he had missed his mark 
and I thought that the bullet had passed much nearer me 
than was necessary. I was not quite sure what the ob- 
ject of his aim had really been ; for it is very difficult, 
when a bullet is whistling through the air, to tell its ex- 
act distance, as, (if it is not completely round,) it will 
sound much louder and nearer than it would if its form 
were perfect. However this may be, I felt rather doubt- 
ful of this Indian, and thought that he might have taken 
a fancy to prefer my rifle and ammunition, and a wiiite 
man's scalp to a load of buffalo meat. 

As T drew near, he spoke to me in Pawnee, pointed 
to the buffalo, and said he had missed it. I said, " your 
gun is bad !" He was just beginning to reload it, when 



I told him he must not do so. I pointed to my double 
rifle, which was loaded, and said, Uiat it w^as enough. 
In fact, I ihouglit il as well to keep this suspicious-loitk- 
ing fellow unarmed while we were in company. He 
had, it is true, a scalp-knife for close quarters ; but I had 
one also ; and, in looking him carefui'y over, I was pret- 
ty well satisfied that I was the stronger of the two. He 
did appear to be more than twenty, and was slightly 
formed : if we were to quarrel, he might, ii is tiue, beat 
me in running; but my faiihful Purday would have more 
than compensated thai disadvantage. However he did 
not seem in the least angry or displeased when I told him 
not to load his gun, but laughed at his own bad shot, and, 
pointing to my rifle, said he would give me his piece and 
a horse for my " medicine gun." I declined the bargain, 
but was pleased by the fellow's good-humour; and thought 
I had done him an injustice in suspecting him of having 
aimed at me. I remembered, also, that I had a great 
advantage over him in my light and excellent weapon ; 
so I told him he might load his gun, but made him signs 
that il we saw buff'alo or antelope, he must shoot belter. 
He took up the sign language directly, grinned, and, wiih 
a look of contempt on his gun, (which was a bran-new 
thirty-shilling exportation from Birmingham,) showed me 
that he would not miss a buffalo if he had his bow and 
arrows. He now proceeded to load, an operation which 
I watched with no little amusement, w^ondering where 
his ammunition was to come from, inasmuch as he was 
perfectly naked, except the waist-belt, which supported, 
his breech cloth, and a pair of moccasins. However, it 
did appear that a small hollowed point of horn, stopped 
witi) a wooden plug, was in the said bell (as, indeed, were 
his butcher-knife, flint, and touchwood), from which he 
put in a charge of powder, which he rammed down with 
some shreds of a reed, or inner bark ; then he took from 
his mouth a half-chewed bullet,* and, wrapping it in the 
same stutT, rammed it down also. 

* This method of making bullets is very common among the Indians 
who use guns. They will hunt all day with a piece of lead in their 
mouth, which they thus chew into form. Another object is hereby at- 
tained ; if no water can be obtained, a piece of lead in the mouth excites 


The evening was drawing on, and the sky was dusk 
and gloomy ; so that, although the sun had not set, it 
was impossible to tell in what quarter of the heaven he 
might be. The Indian made signs that it was time to 
go to the lodges to eat and sleep. I now became aware, 
for the first time, that I was completely lost in my reck- 
onings, and had not the most remote idea in what direc- 
tion to look for my party ; for I had turned and wound 
about, and crept and run so much in pursuit of the ante- 
lopes, that I no longer knew north from south. It will 
be remembered that my jacket was left with my parly, 
and in it was my compass ; while the dull heavy sky 
above promised no assistance from sun, moon, or star. 
I did not like to expose my helpless condition to my 
companion, but, determining to extract from him all the 
information possible, asked him, by signs, what time of 
day he tliought it might be ? He answered, in the same 
manner, about four or five o'clock.* My object was not 
to know the hourj which was not of the least importance, 
but to ascertain thus indirectly tne exact bearings of 
east and west. Having done this, and compared, as ra- 
pidly as I could, several of the most remarkable knobs 
or heights to serve as landmarks, I asked him where his 
lodges were ? To my great satisfaction, he pointed near- 
ly east : I said I would go there, and eat. 

We proceeded accordingly, side by side. I kept a 
sharp eye upon this young Indian, who was a sly, ma- 
licious-looking chap, and resolved various plans for 
finding my own party. I hoped, however, that the 
Indians at the small camp to which he belonged might, 

the saliva, and relieves the pains of thirst. I have more than once used 
one of my own rifle-balls for this purpose, and have experienced much 
relief from so doing. 

* In expressing to one who cannot speak his language the hour of the 
day, an Indian bends the thumb and fore-finger of the right hand, so as 
to make a kind of crescent ; begins by directing them to the east ; then 
traces with them the sun's path, giving slight jerks to indicate the divi- 
sion of hours, tdl he comes to a pause at the meridian. He then pro- 
ceeds, in like m,anner, till his fingers point to the western horizon : 
on this occasion four or five jerking* and successive movements of the 
hand towards the west, after making the noon-pause, indicated the hour 
which I have mentioned in the text. 

Vol. I.— Dd 


perchance, throw some light upon the subject; for I was 
sure that they would be camped by a stream, and if our 
party had crossed it, their trail would not have been 
unobserved. At all events, it appeared more prudent to 
go and secure a supper, than to ramble all night about 
this waste, without food, water, fire, or jacket. 

We walked on rapidly for two hours, when we came 
lo a soft bank of grass, and my companion proposed that 
we should sit down and rest, to which I acceded. After 
a short time, we resumed our course ; and, ere long, 
arrived in sight of the small encampment, by the side of 
a large stream. Here I left my companion, and deter- 
mined to seek the principal lodge in the party, which my 
Pawnee experience enabled me at once to recognize by 
the shield and badge raised on the three poles before it. 
The children and dogs assailed me, as usual ; but I pass- 
ed on, and stopped opposite to the entrance of the lodge, 
where I gave ihe usual salutation, and remained only a 
moment standing, when the Indian made me a sign to 
come and sit down by him, which I obeyed in silence. I 
was very hungry, and saw with pleasure that my host 
was tolerably fat, and that neither of his squaws was very 
meagre in appearance. All this augured well for their 
kitchen discipline ; but, in conformity with their habits, I 
made no sign of wanting food. The man gave me a 
pipe, and, in a few minutes, a fine fat rib, hot from the 
fire, was placed before me. On this occasion my appe- 
tite must have done itself justice, for I picked the bone 
as clean as it could have been made by a prairie wolf. 
I^lhink these people had been with me in the great camp, 
but, not belonging to the band or quarter where I had 
lodged, they had only seen me at a distance ; although 
they knew that I had been with old Sa-ni-tsa-rish, for I 
heard them say so. The squaws were very good- 
humoured and curious : they seemed much puzzled at 
my dress, for it was now late in the evening, and rather 
cold. I had only my blue cotton shirt : they felt it, then 
touched the skin of my throat, uttering a kind of "ugh" 
of astonishment at its being so white and thin, in com- 
parison to their own dark and coarse cuticle. They 
asked me if I had not a horse, a blanket, or a buffalo- 


robe ? I said I had all of them, bat they were waiting 
for me in the prairie. Finding the Indians in this lodge 
very good-natured and communicative, I began to prose- 
cute my investigations respecting my party ; but they 
knew nothing of them, neither had their trail been seen. 


Unpleasant Predicanoent.— Set forth in Search of my Party. — Night 
Wanderings. — Rejoin my Friends. — Journey resumed. — Evening 
Camp. — Prairie Wolves. — Scotch Servant. — The American Lad. — 
Conversation with the Guide. — Enormous Rattlesnake. — Indian Ma- 
nosuvre. — Danger from Snakes. — An Antelope shot. — A Bath. — Our 
Feast.- Meeting with Pawnee Hunters. — Their Conference with our 
Guides. — Consuitation with my Companions. — Desertion of the 
Guides. — Difficulties of our Situation. — Commencement of my Office 
as Guide. 

I NOW found myself in a very unpleasant predicament. 
My life, indeed, was not in much danger, because I might, 
probably, have been permitted to accompany these In- 
dians to the Pawnee villages on the Platte, where I might 
Izave waited until some trading party should go down the 
Missouri ; but my condition would not, in this case, be 
very enviable. With neither horse, clothes, nor blanket, 
and with a very small stock of ammunition, I was cer- 
tainly not well equipped for a long journey and residence 
with the Pawnees ; neither did I think that my own 

party could get on very well without me, as V was 

crippled, and none of them were hunters. So I deter- 
mined to sally forth, and seek them at all risks. 

Fortunately, the clouds cleared away and the stars 
shone brightly ; I easily found the polar-star, and com- 
pared it with the fronting of the lodge, which I found 
correct as usual, due east. I then examined the course 
of the stream, and, in short, took all my bearings, both 
on earth and in the sky, as deliberately and as carefully 
as I could. The Indian thought I was making " great 
medicine ;" and when I pointed to the polar-star, he 
seemed evidently to know it, and said that the " buffalo 
were new going that way;" but he could not make out 
what I had to do with it. 


As soon as I gave him to understand that I was going 
to set off on a night journey, he said, " Ugh !" — it is not 
good !" and made me signs to wrap myself in one of his 
robes and sleep. He asked " if I was tired.'" I told 
him, " No ; I am strong." He inquired " where I was 
going." I answered by signs that, *' before morning, I 
should rejoin my party and get my horses." Indeed, I 
affected naore confidence in this matter than I felt. I had 
made up my mind to walk all night, and all the following 
morning, in search of my party ; and if I could not find 
them, to come back to this camping-place, and follow the 
trail of these Indians, in order to reach them, as I might 
otherwise run a risk of perishing with cold and hunger. 
I made signs that it was very far, and asked if they would 
give me some meat to take with me, which they imme- 
diately did. Of this I slung two or three slices to my 
waist-beltj and started on my night expedition, after 
thanking, with {he warmest expressions and gestures, the 
inmates of the lodge, who were, indeed, the most simple 
good-natured Indians whom I had with. I wished I 
had something better than thanks to give them ; but not 
being able to spare my shirt, I was obliged to forego that 

As I started, I took the precaution to examine care- 
fully the locks of my rifle, at which manoeuvre the old 
Indian gave another significant " Ugh ?" and we parted. 
The night being fresh, it was somewhat annoying that I 
was obliged (from the direction in which I calculated my 
party to be) to cross the stream near which the Indians 
were encamped ; however, it did not wet me much above 
the knees, and I knew that I should not be likely to want 
exercise very soon. I walked as fast as I could, and ex- 
amined all the country near the main creek without suc- 
cess. I tried the higher ridges, and followed one, where 
the nature of the ground made it probable that another 
creek met the one which I had left. I lay down re- 
peatedly, and put my ear to the ground, in hopes of hear- 
ing some sound which might guide me, but none met my 
ear, except the shrill, barking howl of the prairie wolves ; 
and I found that, in that position I certainly could hear 
the noise of the little Indian camp farther than I could 


When I stood up. I should think, however, that the 'as- 
sistance derivable from it must be greater on a level 
plain, than a hilly district, such as I was now crossing. 

This latter cast was more fortunate ; I had not long 
begun to descend the second ndge, when I perceived at 
a distance a glimmer of light and some smoke. As I 
drew near, I went carefully and stealthily forward, for 
fear it might be a party of strange Indians, and that I 
might be discovered by some of their scouts : but I soon 
found, to my great joy, that it was the camp of my own 
friends. They had begun to feel much alarmed at my 
long absence, but had very wisely remained by the place 
first agreed upon, trusting to my being thus enabled more 
easily to find them. I told them of my having fallen in, 
and supped with, a small Pawnee party ; but I did not 
tell them how completely I had been lost, and with what 
anxious fears of not rejoining them I had been rambling 
over the prairie : because I was ashamed of having acted 
with so little carefulness and prudence. 

On the 13th, we started early, and travelled about ten 
miles, in a wet, thick fog, accompanied by a raw driz- 
zling rain and wind from the north-east. In short, it was 
such weather as we often experience in Britain about the 
end of February — course, east-south-east. At noon, the 
weather improved, and we camped by a small creek, 
which we believed to be one of the tributaries of the 
Kanzas. Here, again, we enjoyed an excellent meal of 
buffalo meat, seasoned with a few flour cakes fried in 
bacon. In the afternoon, we proceeded as usual, till 
dusk ; camped by the same creek ; secured our horses. 
— lighted our fire — boiled some coffee, and smoked a 
pipe. At this place, musquitoes were very plentiful, but 
we had become somewhat indifferent to them. We were 
lulled to rest by a pack of prairie wolves^ howling on a 
small hill on the other side of the creek. These animals 
seemed so bold and hungry, that, by the advice of the 
guide, we fastened our horses at no great distance from 
the fire ; and a loaded rifle was kept constantly ready to 
protect them, in case of any alarm during the night. 

14th. — Endeavoured to start at daybreak; but my 
Scotch servant could not learn to balance or fasten a pack 


on a horse ; and his slow awkwardness cost us repeated 
and vexatious delays, as we were so frequently obliged 
to stop and repack the animal of which he had charge. 
This man was a willing and well-conducted servant in 
civilized life, but Nature had not formed him for a prairie 
hunter. Our American lad improved every day in ac- 
tivity and readiness, and his good-humour and spirits 

gave 'me much satisfaction. As for poor V , he 

could sit on his horse and eat his dinner ; but he still 
suffered a good deal from his bruises, and could not yet 
walk : his arm was in a sling. 

I found that one of our horses was lame — several 
were rather sore in the back — and I recommended both 
The attendants to walk at least half the day's journey, as 
we could not tell what urgent necessity for a fresh horse 
half an hour might create. I went this morning, on foot, 
about fourteen miles with the guide, chatting with him 
in broken Pawnee, filled up with signs. I observed upon 
referring to my compass, that he was going north-east ; 
and, upon asking him the reason, he pointed to the east, 
and said that there was no water there for us to camp 

The country we were now crossing was a succession 
of barren sandy ridges. Before us, at the distance of 
half a mile, I remarked a creek ; and, on asking the 
guide its name, was told that it was called Snake river.* 
He informed us, by signs, that we must be cautious, for 
it was full of rattle-snakes. While I was walking be- 
side him, talking in this way, he gave a sudden yell, so 
shrill and piercing, that, as if by instinct, I knew it was 
a warning, and leaped on one side as far as I could 
spring. On looking for the cause of this sudden cry, I 
saw, in the very spot where my next step would have 
placed my hg^ an enormous rattle-snake ; his head rear- 

* In the Pawnee, as in other Indian languages, the substantive is 
frequently varied in preference to using an adjective ; thus, water in a 
bowl, or pot for drinking, in a pond, running or river water, and rain 
water, are all distinct and separate words. The same is observable in 
many nouns, as a female child — a girl from seven to eleven — a young 
girl (come to years of puberty) — a young married woman, and an old 
married woman, are also different words in some languages ; as are,, 
also, generally, elder and younger brother. 


ed, and his folds coiled below Lim, ready for a spring. 
He was giving me, too, all the warning in his power ; for 
he was rattling so clearly and loudly, that it was wonder- 
ful to me I had not heard him. I was just about to kill 
him, but the guide stopped my aim — pointed gravely to 
the sky and to himself, and indicated to me that it was 
against his " medicine."* Accordingly, I desisted ; re- 
flecting that, in all probability, neither I, nor any other 
white man, would ever hear his rattle again ; and that 
killing one, in a place which was crowded by thousands, 
could be of little use. 

After we had walked on a few hundred yards, we were 
about to descend a small narrow ravine, full of broken 
heaps of sandstone, overgrown with coarse herbs and 
grasses. The Indian told me to go straight on in that 
direction, as he wished to remain behind for a moment. 
I thought that in such a rough narrow place, where In- 
dian file was recessarily to be observed, the leader of 
the party had a better chance of being bitten by a snake 
than any of those who followed ; and I moreover thought 
that the same idea struck my friend the guide ; but I look 
no notice of it farther than to tell him that, being in no- 
hurry, I would wait for him. The quiet sly expression 
of his face did not alter ; but I cannot help thinking he 
was aware that I saw through his manoeuvre. Accord- 
ingly, he began to pick his way carefully down the ravine. 
My servant, in the rear, had about this time a very nar- 
row escape from another snake. I thought it better to 
mount my horse, and recommended the others to do the 
same, although the place was very rough and unpleasant 
for riding, owing to the quantity of loose sandstone and 
high coarse grass. I never should have believed it pos- 
sible that so many rattlesnakes could have assembled 
together as I saw in that ravine. I think there must 
have been nearly enough to fatten a drove of Missouri 

* Tliis same prejudice exists in several bands of the Osages and 
Delawares, as well as among other tribes in the more remote regions. 

t It is well known that, in the western states, where rattle-snakes are 
still plentiful, the hogs kill and eat them ; nor is their bite formidable 
to their swinish enemy, on whom its venomous fangs seem to produce- 

320 A BATH. 

As soon as we emerged from this ravine, I dismounted 
and rejoined the guide, from wliom, ere long, I heard ihe 
well-known " Ugh !" which accompanies the sudden 
presentation of any new object to the eye of an Indian ; 
and, following the direction of his finger, saw two or 
three antelopes browsing on a hill side to windward of 
us. As they had not yet seen our party, I halted it, and 
told them to lie down, while I would try and stalk one. 
After creeping for some distance, I came within about 
a hundred and twenty yards of one, but could get no 
nearer from the nature of the ground. However, I took 
a steady aim, and was fortunate enough to hit ; but the 
antelope went off on three legs, and, after a tiresome 
pursuit, I found that they were still fleeter than my two. 
iSo I thought I would try another fashion, and, selecting 
a commanding situation on a hi^h knoll, sat down to 
watch him from a distance. This plan succeeded ; for 
as soon as he saw that he was unpursued, he slackened 
his pace, and, after going about half a mile, lay down. 
I could distinctly observe all his movements with my 
telescope. Having carefully noted the ground near him, 
to assist me in creeping up, and allowed time for the 
wound to become stiff, I again went after him ; and, 
having succeeded in getting unobserved within fifty or 
sixty yards, another shot terminated the chase. 

The rest of the party now came up, and the dissection 
of the little deer did not occupy much lime. We carried 
him off to the banks of the creek ; and while the feast 
was preparing, 1 determined to enjoy the luxury of a 
bath and a change of clothes, the latter having been a 
very rare metamorphosis of late, and the suit which 1 
wore being full of the filthy Pawnee body-guard, which 
still clung to all cur clothes and buffalo robes. 

I was surprised to find the water of this stream so ex- 
tremely salt; notwithstanding which our horses drank it 
with such avidity that we were afraid of their injuring 
themselves, and with the greatest difficulty drove them 
from it. The sun was now intensely hot ; there was no 

no efToct. It is owing to this well-known fact, that families resident in 
those districts conceive that hogs' lard must be a kind of antidoie to their 
poison, and frequently use it (I believe successfully) as a remedy. 


shelter from its rays during the process of the bath or 
toilet ; but altogether I felt it to be a great comfort and 
luxury, and as soon as it was over went in high spirits to 
our camping-place, where the antelope was already 
dressed, and we commenced our feast. 

Ere this was half despatched, a number of buffalo 
came rolling and bounding over the small hills before our 
our camping-piace, in such confusion and at such speed 
that we were immediately aware of their being closely 
pursued ; and in a few minutes two or three hunters ap- 
peared. As soon as they saw our parly they halted to 
examine it: our two Indians talked together, and instantly 
recognized the new-comers as Pawnees. I was much 
vexed at the reappearance of thes3 fellows, for it seem- 
ed as if we should never get rid of them : the propinquity 
of these straggling parties, unchecked by any responsible 
chief, is sometimes dangerous, and never desirable. 
They made signs to our guides to go and speak with 
them : a request with which they immediately complied. 

I did not like the circumstance of these hunters keep- 
ing so studiously aloof from us ; neither did I much ap- 
prove of the conference of suspicious duration which 
they held with our guides. When the latter returned, 
they were silent and sulky ; their countrymen gallopped 
off, and were soon lost in the distance. I could easily 
perceive that some very sudden as well as strong im- 
pression had been produced by this talk; and by ob- 
serving and listening to them as they whispered together, 
while I pretended to speak to V , I became con- 
vinced that they intended to desert us. The short but 
significant answers which I received to one or two care- 
less questions which I put, convinced me of the truth of 
my suspicions. I therefore summoned a council of war, 
and communicated these unpleasant occurrences to 

V , and to the two attendants. I told them, that in 

these circumstances, where our lives might depend upon 
the decision we should adopt, I considered we were all 
equal in rank, and each had as influential a voice as his 
neighbour ; that they must be prepared very soon to de- 
cide whether we should return to the Pawnee village with 
these rascally guides, or endeavour to reach Fort Leaven- 


worth without them ; and I professed my own wilHng- 
ness to adopt either ahernative which the majority might 
prefer. After a short consuhation, tiiey were unanimous 
iu their decisions against returning to the Pawnees. The 
recollection of the filth, the vermin, and other nuisances, 
to which they must return, besides the very doubtful 
nature of the reception we might meet with, now that 
we had expended all our trading articles, and the terms 
of open dislike on which we had parted from the two 
most powerful chiefs — all these were conclusive argu- 
ments against the expediency of revisiting the Pawnees ; 
while the other alternative presented, it is true, great 
risks and difficulties, but of a vague and unascertained 

As soon as this question was decided, I told them that 
one of our party must take upon himself the office and 
the whole responsibilities of a guide, because, if every 
one's opinion was taken as to routes, directions, and 
bearings, we should never reach the settlements ; and 1 
asked if any of them wished to undertake the task. 
They all said they wished me to undertake it myself. I 
agreed to do so, upon the repeated condition that I was 
to conduct them as I pleased and whither I pleased ; to 
choose the length and the line of march ; and that there 
was to be neither dispute nor contradiction as long as I 
retained the office. 

Having settled these preliminaries, in order to be pre- 
pared for what I expected, I desired the Indian, as usual, 
to catch one of the horses, as it was time to pursue our 
march. He answered shortly, sulkily, and quite dis- 
tinctly, that he would not ; and upon my making the sign 
that I wished him to explain himself, he said he would 
not go any farther — that he and his companion would go 
back to their people — that it was bad to proceed, and 
ihey would not do it. J confess I felt very much tempted 
lo tie these two rascals up, and give them a good flogging 
(for our party was strong enough to do it) ; but I thought 
it more prudent to let them alone ; for as soon as they 
could get away and collect a band of Pawnees, they 
would certainly have followed our trail to take revenge. 

I never couhl thoroughly understand the motives 


which actuated ihem on this occasion : that their resohj- 
lion was occasioned by their talk with the other Indians 
was quite evident ; but I know not whether they had 
been told that the great chief was angry with them for 
guiding us, and would punish them if they went on ; or 
that hostile war-parties were out in the country which 
we were about to traverse ; or that, by refusing to pro- 
ceed, they would place us in so awkward and helpless a 
predicament that we should double their promised re- 
ward, and agree to any terms which they might propose. 
Whichever of these reasons influenced their conduct^ 
they certainly were not a little surprised at the cool in- 
difference with which V and I received the an- 
nouncement of their intentions. We desired our white 
attendants to catch and pack the horses. I then turned 
to the two Indians ; and, with the most contemptuous 
expression of countenance and gesture that I could com- 
mand, told them " that they were bad men, liars, and 
squaws, and they must immediately get up and leave my 
camp." As they were so unprepared for this turn of 
affairs, they hesitated a moment, and I repeated to them 
more loudly the order to "go and tell Sa-ni-tsa-rish that 
they were liars and squaws. ' They muttered something 
to each other, inaudible to me, and slunk off, leaving us 
seated with great dignity and apparent ease. 

As soon as they were out sight, I confess that the 
perils and difficulties of our situation pressed themselves 
most forcibly on my mind, and the responsibility that I 
had incurred seemed heavy and serious indeed. I re- 
membered that I had undertaken to guide our little party 
through six or seven hundred miles of barren unknown 
wilderness, where I knew not whether we might find 
water for ourselves and horses — where we were liable, 
at any hour of the day or night, to be fallen upon by some 
roving band of strange Indians, and where, if we lost 
any time by deviating from our right course, our pro-^ 
visions might fail, and we might find nothing wherewith 
the rifle could supply their place. All these reflections 
suggested themselves in rapid succession to my mind, 
but I felt how vitally necessary were energy and decision 


of action. The very feeling of the responsibility of my 
charge gave me excitement, and I felt a strong and 
buoyant confidence that, unless some unfortunate acci- 
dent occurred, I could conduct the party without any 
great deviation to the fort : so, with my telescope, com- 
pass, and rifle ready for use, I rode on a hundred yards 
ahead, and began my career as guide. 


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